Fact Check: The House Jan. 6 Committee Did NOT Withdraw Trump Subpoena Because 'They Knew Trump Did Nothing Wrong'

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: The House Jan. 6 Committee Did NOT Withdraw Trump Subpoena Because 'They Knew Trump Did Nothing Wrong' Out Of Time

Did the U.S. House of Representatives' committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol withdraw its subpoena of former President Donald Trump because "they knew Trump did nothing wrong"? No, that's not true: The withdrawal had nothing to do with Trump's guilt or innocence. The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol dissolved on January 3, 2023, in connection with the convocation of a fresh session of Congress on that date. As explained in a December 28, 2022, letter from the committee's chairman to the former president's legal team, the committee ran out of time for its inquiry.

The claim appeared on Twitter (archived here) on December 28, 2022. It read:

They just withdrew Trump's subpoena re: Jan 6 because they knew Trump did nothing wrong. Or perhaps (according to DJT) the FBl's involvement in rigging the election played into their decision. In any event, the Subpoena is DEAD! And it's about time for a liberal meltdown.

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thu Jan 5 15:49:38 2023 UTC)

In a December 28, 2022, letter from Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee chair, to Trump's legal team, Thompson formally withdrew the committee's October 21, 2022, subpoena to Trump. The congressman explained that the end of the committee's investigation was "imminent," and insufficient time remained for it to "pursue the specific information covered by the subpoena." Thompson said nothing about Trump's guilt or innocence in connection with the events of January 6, 2021.

The relevant part of the letter read:

As you may know, the Select Committee had concluded its hearings, released its final report and will very soon reach its end. In light of the imminent end of our investigation, the Select Committee can no longer pursue the specific information covered by the subpoena.

The letter can be read in its entirety on the Twitter account of Harmeet K. Dhillon, the managing partner of Dhillon Law Group Inc., to which Thompson's letter was addressed:


(Source: Twitter account of Harmeet K. Dhillon, December 28, 2022)

Dhillon Law Group Inc. represented Trump in his lawsuit to avoid testifying before the January 6 Select Committee.

Trump was not the only subpoenaed witness whose subpoena was withdrawn. Thompson reportedly sent similar letters to other witnesses, including Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims related to the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol can be found here.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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