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The Trump Subpoena

Elections & Politics Policy Brief #41 | By: Maureen Darby-Serson | October 26, 2022

Header photo taken from: Rebecca Noble / The New York Times

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Emails previously released this summer revealed details of Trump's fake electors plan, warranting increased scrutiny of the former president's digital records.

Photo taken from: The New York Times

Policy Summary

Last week, the January 6th Committee issued a subpoena to former President Donald Trump in one of its most brazen moves to uncover Trump’s involvement in the insurrection that happened early in 2021. This will likely start a long and arduous court fight over whether Trump will actually appear before the committee.

The biggest reason the Committee issued this subpoena is to investigate Trump’s involvement in finding fake electors to say that he won the 2020 presidential election.

Policy Analysis

What does this mean for the committee hearings and Trump? The short answer is not much. The long answer is that it is complicated. The short answer stems from the reality that Trump will likely not testify or will do so in a very limited manner, potentially by invoking his fifth amendment right to self-incrimination. 

The complicated answer comes after Steve Bannon received a 4-month prison sentence for defying the January 6th Committee’s subpoenas. If Donald Trump refuses to testify and does not do so, he may face a similar fate, depending on if the Department of Justice decides to pursue charges.

Trump’s lawyers have indicated that he will comply with the subpoena but only time will tell.


Steve Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress charges in Jan. 6 case back in July. He has been fined $6,500 and sentenced to federal prison.

Photo taken from: Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

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