On Friday, Trump Sues Jan. 6 Committee in Last-Ditch Effort to Avoid Testifying, requesting that the subpoena to compel his testimony was an illegal overreach. Trump’s attorney David A. Warrington issued a statement saying, “Long-held history and practice indicate that separation of powers forbids Congress from requiring a President to testify before it.”

The committee’s “political” decision to subpoena the former president, according to Warrington, forced Trump to “involve the third branch, the judicial branch, in this dispute between the executive and legislative branches,” despite his “good faith” efforts to respond to the committee’s earlier requests.

Trump was summoned by the committee last month, and he was told to appear in front of them on November 14 to respond to questions. It happened at the same time that Trump planned to start his reelection campaign next week and that NBC News claimed the committee planned to center its final report entirely around Trump, potentially leaving its concurrent probes into law enforcement’s shortcomings out of it.

To avoid complying with a subpoena forcing him to testify, former president Donald Trump is suing the House committee looking into the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Although former presidents have in the past willingly consented to produce testimony or records in response to congressional subpoenas, “no president or former president has ever been compelled to do so,” according to the lawsuit filed Friday evening.

In a statement announcing Trump’s plans, Trump’s attorney David A. Warrington stated that the separation of powers prevents Congress from compelling a President to testify before it.

The committee “insists on pursuing a political path,” according to Warrington, leaving President Trump with no choice but to involve the third branch, the judicial branch, in this conflict between the executive and legislative branches. Warrington claimed that Trump engaged with the committee “in a good faith effort to resolve these concerns consistent with Executive Branch prerogatives and separation of powers,” but claimed that the panel “insists on pursuing a political path.”

Trump Sues Jan. 6 Committee in Last-Ditch Effort to Avoid Testifying

The committee declined to comment on the filing, which comes a day before the deadline set by the committee for trump to begin cooperating. But the suit likely dooms the prospect of trump ever having to testify, given that the committee is expected to disband at the end of the legislative session in January.

Additionally, it happens just a few days before Trump is anticipated to formally introduce his third presidential bid at his Mar-Lago resort.

The committee formally subpoenaed Trump last month after voting to do so at its final live meeting before the midterm elections. The subpoena required testimony from the former president by mid-November, either in person at the Capitol or through videoconference, lasting several days if necessary.

The letter also described a broad request for information, including private correspondence between Trump and lawmakers as well as radical organizations. The nine-member panel had until last week to receive Trump’s response to that request, but it was extended to this week.

Trump Sues Jan. 6 Committee in Last-Ditch Effort to Avoid Testifying, Trump’s lawyers argue in his lawsuit that the subpoena violates his First Amendment rights because it is unduly broad. Additionally, they contend that Trump might not be the only source of the information the committee needs.

Trump Sues Jan. 6 Committee in Last-Ditch Effort to Avoid Testifying

In a statement last week, the panel, which is made up of two Republicans and seven Democrats, stated that it was in contact with Trump’s lawyers.

The committee’s decision to subpoena Trump in late October marked a significant expansion of its inquiry. Members of the committee claimed that this action was required because the former president was the “key participant” in a complex scheme to alter the outcome of the 2020 election.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., vice chair of the committee, said last week: “I think that he has a legal obligation to testify but that doesn’t necessarily carry weight with Donald Trump.”

The committee demanded that Trump appear before them and issued 19 requests for documents and communications, including any messages the president may have sent to lawmakers and others regarding the shocking events of the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, via the encrypted messaging service Signal or by “any other means.”

The committee sought documents from Sept. 1, 2020, two months before the election, to the present regarding the president’s communications with organizations like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys as it attempts to compile a historical record of the events leading up to, during, and following the Capitol attack.

Trump’s complaint was filed in the same court as other Trump attorneys were successful in their petition to appoint a special master charged with conducting an impartial review of documents collected by the FBI during a search of Mar-a-Lago on August 8.