Judge rejects Trump’s House January 6 committee subpoena request, calling it a ‘fishing expedition’

The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s election subversion case in Washington, DC, denied the former president’s effort to subpoena records from the House select committee that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Trump’s attorneys had claimed in their motion to subpoena records from the committee, its Chairman Bennie Thompson, and others that the committee and federal officials withheld some materials related to the investigation. His defense lawyers also argued that special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump had “significant overlap” with the House select committee’s investigation.

With the case slated to go to trial in March, Judge Tanya Chutkan is still considering several pretrial motions from Trump’s team, including long-shot motions to dismiss the entire case. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges stemming from efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Thompson has defended his panel’s archival process. He said this summer that the committee wasn’t required to keep all of the records it amassed during the monthslong investigation, in response to accusations from Rep. Barry Loudermilk, currently overseeing a House Republican probe into the committee’s work, that certain records were missing.

Chutkan, in her ruling Monday, said Trump had not sufficiently justified his subpoena requests and did not establish relevance between the case and certain items he wanted to subpoena, including recorded interviews. The order also says that some of the requested material has already been provided to Trump’s team through discovery.

In addition, Chutkan noted that Trump’s requested subpoenas lacked specificity about certain information he wanted, comparing the request to a “fishing expedition.”

“The broad scope of the records that Defendant seeks, and his vague description of their potential relevance, resemble less ‘a good faith effort to obtain identified evidence’” than they do a “fishing expedition,” Chutkan wrote.

CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.

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