Vos gives Jan. 6 committee testimony, reversing course after having sued to block subpoena

By: - December 1, 2022 6:00 am

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos | official website

After initially going to federal court to fight a subpoena from the Congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos gave testimony to committee members Wednesday.

“Today I met with the January 6th Select Committee after previously receiving a subpoena for my testimony. I did not have any involvement with the events of January 6, 2021,” Vos said in a statement emailed shortly after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. “My meeting with the Select Committee was brief, and I answered their questions regarding Wisconsin’s 2020 Presidential Election.”

Vos (R-Rochester) did not add any specifics of his testimony and did not address his decision to testify despite his pending lawsuit to block the suboena and did not respond to the Wisconsin Examiner’s inquiry Wednesday afternoon about either.

Press representatives for the committee — officially called the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol — have not responded to inquiries about the subpoena, which was issued Friday, Sept. 23, and served on Vos a day later.

The subpoena directed Vos to give the committee a deposition “concerning your interactions with former President [Donald] Trump regarding overturning the results of the 2020 election.”

The committee issued the subpoena after Vos described in a July television interview a telephone conversation with Trump that followed a Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion banning the longstanding practice of using drop boxes for voters to return absentee ballots. Vos said the former president urged him to decertify the results of Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election.

“After you reportedly told Mr. Trump that what he was requesting is not allowed under the Wisconsin constitution, Mr. Trump posted derogatory statements about you on Truth Social and endorsed your challenger in the 2022 Republican primary,” the subpoena states. “The circumstances and details regarding your interaction with former President Trump related to the 2020 election are relevant to the Select Committee’s investigation and proposed recommendations.”

Vos sued in federal court to block the subpoena, asserting that his 2022 conversation with Trump was “entirely outside of the Committee’s authorized scope” and had “no bearing on the events and causes of January 6, 2021.”

In the weeks that followed lawyers for Vos and for the Jan. 6 committee submitted briefs arguing for and against blocking the subpoena. Then, on Oct. 24, the day that had been scheduled for oral arguments in the lawsuit, the judge postponed the case after a joint request from lawyers for both sides.

As of Wednesday arguments had not been rescheduled. Vos’ decision to testify Wednesday would appear to suggest that the lawsuit will soon be dropped.

The Associated Press reported that the Jan. 6 committee chair, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, told reporters that the panel wanted to know “if there’s any more information that we can glean” about the Trump-Vos phone call. Committee members reportedly said Vos’ deposition was their last before completing a final report on the investigation, to be released later this month.

This story has been updated.


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Erik Gunn
Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary.