Trump not 'man enough' to testify in US Capitol attack probe, Pelosi says

Trump not 'man enough' to testify in US Capitol attack probe, Pelosi says
A congressional committee investigating Donald Trump's role in the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol has informed the former president it wants him to appear for testimony on or about 14 November.
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Nancy Pelosi said she doesn't think Donald Trump is 'man enough to show up' [Alex Wong/Getty-archive]

Former President Donald Trump is too much of a coward to obey a subpoena from the US Congress compelling him to testify to a special committee investigating his role in the 6 January 2021 attack on the Capitol, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Sunday.

"I don't think he's man enough to show up. I don't think his lawyers will want him to show up because he has to testify under oath," Pelosi said in an interview with American broadcaster MSNBC.

"We'll see if he's man enough to show up," she added.

On Friday, the select committee announced that it had issued the subpoena to Trump, giving him until 4 November to submit a wide range of documents related to his activities before and after the deadly 6 January attack by the former president's supporters.

The panel also informed Trump that it wants him to appear for testimony on or about 14 November.

Since he lost the 2020 election, Trump has insisted he is the victim of widespread voter fraud, an allegation that has been dismissed by scores of court cases and audits.

Nevertheless, Trump has maintained he did nothing illegal in pressing that case, including on the day of the Capitol riot.

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He regularly refers to the congressional panel as the "unselect committee" and has accused it of waging unfair political attacks on him.

The violence at the Capitol erupted as Trump supporters attempted to stop Congress from formally certifying Democrat Joe Biden's decisive win in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump and Pelosi have had a long, stormy relationship.

She guided two impeachment proceedings against him and their dislike of each other sometimes was on public display during his presidency.

At the conclusion of Trump's 2020 "State of the Union" speech to Congress, Pelosi disdainfully tore in half a printed copy of that address as she sat behind him during the nationally televised event.

That came after Trump arrived at the House podium to begin the speech and refused to shake Pelosi's hand.

The previous year, a White House meeting between Trump and congressional leaders on US policy in Syria erupted in anger when Trump reportedly called Pelosi a "third-rate politician" and later said she was "unhinged".

Outside the White House following the meeting that Democrats stormed out of, Pelosi told reporters Trump had suffered a "meltdown".

'Criminal offences'

Also on Sunday, Republican Representative Liz Cheney told American broadcaster NBC's "Meet the Press" that Trump likely has committed several criminal offences that the US Department of Justice potentially can prosecute him on.

"We have been very clear about a number of different criminal offences that are likely at issue here," said Cheney, one of two Republican members on the select House panel.

"He has demonstrated his willingness to use force to attempt to stop the peaceful transition of power," Cheney said.

She did not lay out specific criminal charges the committee could recommend in an upcoming report following a more than year-long investigation.

Cheney, who lost her Republican leadership role over her criticisms of Trump, as well as her 2022 primary election, said: "We have put on testimony that he admitted that he lost [the 2020 presidential election].

"But even if he thought that he had won, you may not send an armed mob to the Capitol. You may not sit for 187 minutes and refuse to stop the attack while it's underway. You may not send a tweet that incites further violence," Cheney said.

Cheney did not say what the panel would do if Trump refuses to cooperate with the subpoena.

If he testifies, she said, "he's not going to turn this into a circus".