The congressional panel investigating the deadly attack on the US Capitol has voted to subpoena Donald Trump.
It was a unanimous vote and the former president will now be compelled to give evidence to the committee about the events of 6 January 2021 which saw five people killed and hundreds, including many law enforcement officers, injured.
The committee said he is “required to answer for his actions”.
It has been arguing in its hearings so far that Mr Trump was directly involved in the bid to overturn the 2020 US election result after inciting his supporters on the day to storm the Capitol building – the seat of US power in Washington DC.
He denies the accusations, and on Truth Social described the committee as “a total bust”.
The panel cannot bring legal charges against Mr Trump, but it can decide to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department, should members choose.
Its series of hearings, which began in June this year, has been trying to establish his exact involvement.
On Thursday, it was told Mr Trump orchestrated a multi-part plan to nullify the election result, and had behaved in a way that was a “staggering betrayal of his oath”.
The vote came as extraordinary new footage emerged of both Republican and Democrat lawmakers huddled in a secure location in the Capitol building as the riot unfolded around them.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is seen in the video telling the group: “There has to be some way we can maintain the sense that there is some security, some confidence, that government can function… and that you can elect the President of the United States.
“We have to get to finish the proceedings.”
She is then left stunned when an aide replies: “Apparently everybody on the floor is putting on their tear gas masks to prepare for a breach.”
On the morning of 6 January, thousands of his supporters – inspired by an incendiary speech he had just given near the White House in which he repeated claims he had been denied a second term due to voter fraud – marched to the Capitol.
It was in session at the time, overseeing the congressional certification of Joe Biden‘s presidential election win.
A large group, including armed members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and QAnon, breached barriers at pedestrian entrances to the building’s grounds. Several also entered the Capitol building itself after a mob smashed windows and forced open doors.
Having lost the electoral vote on 3 November 2020 to his Democratic opponent, Mr Trump began to insist the contest had been “rigged,” triggering his opponents to claim a conspiracy against him.
His accusations of voting malpractice have been continually debunked by election authorities.
The former president, a Republican, has so far refused to appear before the committee, which is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans.
He may reject the subpoena, although he is legally bound to respond positively to it.
Steve Bannon, his former aide, was also subpoenaed to the panel but failed to turn up and has since been convicted of contempt of congress for doing so. He will be sentenced later this month and could be jailed for up to two years.
Hundreds of witnesses have been interviewed by the panel and more than 50 subpoenaed.
More than 900 people were charged with offences relating to the 6 January insurrection.
Mr Trump has vowed to pardon them if he wins a second term as President, though he has yet to officially announce he is standing for re-election.
Earlier on Thursday, the US Supreme Court rejected Mr Trump’s plea to step into the legal fight over the FBI search of his Florida estate.
He had asked the justices to overturn a lower court ruling and permit an independent arbiter to review the roughly 100 documents with classified markings that were taken in the 8 August search of Mar-a-Lago, but his request was denied.