WASHINGTON – Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will meet Wednesday with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol about a phone call former President Donald Trump made in July asking the Rochester Republican to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“That’s scheduled today,” Jan. 6 committee Chairman Bennie Thompson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shortly after noon Wednesday.
Vos was subpoenaed by the committee in September for his testimony after two weeks of failed negotiations between the committee and the Rochester Republican for his voluntary participation, according to federal court filings. Vos then asked a federal judge to throw out the committee’s subpoena – a request the committee argued should be outweighed by public interest.
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Wednesday’s deposition comes as the Jan. 6 committee prepares to release its full report on its investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory and the subsequent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Thompson on Wednesday told reporters the committee plans to release that report before Christmas.
It was not immediately clear if Vos would appear in person or over video for the Wednesday afternoon deposition. A spokeswoman for Vos did not respond to questions about the meeting.
Trump over the last two years has repeatedly pressured Vos to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Wisconsin, a move that has been repeatedly rejected by the Wisconsin Assembly speaker and would have no practical outcome.
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Legal scholars, attorneys, lawmakers, professors and constitutional experts characterize Trump’s wish to be nothing more than a fantasy the former president could use to falsely claim to his supporters that he did not lose the presidential vote in Wisconsin.
At the heart of the committee’s inquiry to Vos is a phone call Trump made to the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker in July after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the use of unmanned absentee ballot drop boxes were illegal. The ruling governs future elections, however, and does not invalidate votes cast via drop box as Trump contends. Drop boxes have been used in Wisconsin for years, including in 2016 when Trump carried the state.
“So what’s Speaker Robin Vos doing on the Great Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling declaring hundreds of thousands of Drop Box votes to be illegal? This is not a time for him to hide, but a time to act!” Trump said in a statement blasted July 19 to millions of followers after his phone call to Vos.
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In an interview with WISN-TV, Vos described the call as another push from Trump to persuade Vos to declare Biden did not actually win Wisconsin in 2020.
“It’s very consistent,” Vos said. “He makes his case, which I respect. He would like us to do something different in Wisconsin. I explained it’s not allowed under the constitution. He has a different opinion, and then he put out the tweet.”
Vos has argued his discussions with Trump are not within the scope of the committee. The committee, however, contended Vos’ discussions are key to understanding Trump’s effort to “undermine the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election.”
Vos has talked about his conversations with Trump to news reporters, prompting the committee’s interest, according to the filings. His hiring and firing of former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to review the 2020 election also were used as a basis for the subpoena, according to court filings.
Story Credit: usatoday.com