In this episode of More To The Story, Lucas explores the Jan 6 committee’s decision to subpoena former president Donald Trump. He will also discuss how this can be a lesson for the way in which Christians interact.
The Jan 6 Committee voted to subpoena Trump. It’s kind of a big deal.
Let’s talk about the Trump Subpoena.
What is a subpoena? Well, it’s just an order for a particular person to come and give testimony under oath, or to provide records.
What court subpoenaed him? In the news you’ll hear it called the January 6 committee, but its official name seems to be: the select committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capital. You see why they call it the January 6th committee.
So, what’s that? Is it a court? No. It’s a select committee. Select means it’s temporary, not ongoing. House select committees are created by the house of represetitives to investigate stuff. Since they’re given power by the House, they have the legal authority to subpoena people for testimony, like courts do. So the Jan 6th committee is calling Trump in to answer questions about the capital riot that happened on January 6th.
Why now? Basically, he keeps coming up in the conversation. Also, there were recent allegations that he had already made plans to overturn the election results prior to finding out he had lost the election, and witness testimony claims that part of his plan was to stoke anger among his followers. So, yeah. They want to talk to him.
Let’s put this into historical context. It’s pretty rare to subpoena a sitting or past president, but it has happened occasionally. In 1846 John Quincy Adams and John Tyler (both former presidents) were subpoenaed. Harry S. Truman was subpoenaed in 1953. He refused to go. Nixon was subpoenaed, but he didn’t play along. He decided to quit instead. There have been other presidents like Jefferson, Monroe, and Clinton who have received subpoenas but not before congress, in those cases they were from civil, criminal, and military courts.
So what will Trump do? I don’t believe Trump is going to cooperate. If I were going to bet, I’d say he doesn’t show at all. If he does, I’d guess he’ll plead his fifth amendment right not to incriminate himself.
After all, the midterm elections might shift the seats around in Washington. Pretty likely that the narrow majority in the house and senate will shift the other way, making it a lot easier to get by without going along with this subpoena. We’ll see.
However, what I want to see is this. I want Trump to cooperate. Now, I’m a conservative, but I wish he’d sit down and just tell the truth. In most of the other cases where presidents have been subpoenaed, they were much smaller issues than this. This is a case where we had American citizens break into the capital, try to overturn an election, and people died. It’s a big deal. I think it would show a lot of integrity and character if he appeared and gave clear and precise testimony. Like I said, I don’t think it’s going to happen, but maybe.
There are a few cases where presidents and ex-presidents have volunteered to appear before congressional committees. They volunteered to go and give testimony without being subpoenaed. My favorite case is Theodore Roosevelt. On explaining why he was willing to volunteer to give testimony he said,
“An ex-president is merely a citizen of the United States, like any other citizen, and it is his plain duty to try to help this committee or respond to its invitation.”-Theodore Roosevelt
I like his attitude here. He sounds like a man with nothing he’s trying to hide.
I don’t honestly know the truth about what Trump’s involvement in the Jan 6 riot was, but that’s exactly the point. We just want to know the truth. If there’s nothing to hide, come and explain. For that matter, come and explain even if there is something to hide.
So, we can’t really affect what Trump does, but I think there’s a lesson in all of this for our daily lives.
There’s this proverb that I really like that reminds me of this situation. It says,
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.-Proverbs 28:13
I don’t know what Trump will do, and honestly it doesn’t affect my life all that much. But, this verse does. I know it’s hard to confess our wrongs when we’ve messed up, but if we don’t, there is failure in our future. Hiding our mistakes and hoping others won’t find out will twist us into knots and make us miserable. It embitters others who we’ve wronged. We won’t prosper and thrive if we spend our energy trying to hide our wrongs.
If you’ve believed in Jesus for everlasting life, great! You’ve received the kind of forgiveness you need to get into Heaven, but that doesn’t mean that we get to pretend our faults don’t exist. We’ve been forgiven, but we’re not yet made perfect. So, if you’re a Christian confess your faults to God and others and work on leaving them behind. There’s freedom in it. There’s mercy waiting for those who fess up.
Maybe you’ve wronged a co-worker, a family member, or a friend. It’s time you get with them and talk about it. Today could be the day you make it right, and find that mercy you need. The most important thing in our lives are relationships. Let’s live like that’s true.
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