Wisconsin House Speaker Vos sues Jan. 6 committee to block subpoena

Posted at 10:22 AM, Sep 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-26 16:18:53-04

WASHINGTON D.C. (NBC 26) — UPDATE: Vos alleged that the short notice of the subpoena placed an undue burden on him. Rep. Bennie Thompson, committee chair, issued the subpoena Friday ordering Vos to appear on Monday morning either in person or via videoconference.

Vos did not testify and the deposition was postponed.

In his lawsuit, Vos said the only explanation for the “extreme deadline" was to conduct the interview before the committee's next televised hearing on Wednesday “so that clips can be edited out to be used in a multimedia show."

Others who have been subpoenaed by the committee have also sued to avoid giving testimony.

Vos, in a statement Monday, said he was surprised to be subpoenaed because he has no information about the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attacks.

“Given how close we are to the midterms, this subpoena seems to be more about partisan politics than actual fact-finding,” he said.

A letter from Thompson that accompanied the subpoena said lawmakers want to talk with Vos about a July call with Trump in which the former president asked Vos about steps he was taking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The call was in response to a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that absentee ballot drop boxes, which were used in the 2020 election and others before it, would be illegal going forward.

After Vos took no action to overturn the election, Trump endorsed his primary challenger.

Vos narrowly won his primary, and three days later fired Michael Gableman, the former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice he had hired, under pressure from Trump, to investigate the 2020 election. Vos called Gableman, who also endorsed his primary opponent, an “embarrassment."

Gableman’s inquiry turned up no evidence of widespread fraud, but the investigator joined Trump in calling for lawmakers to consider decertifying the 2020 election.

The new lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Pamela Pepper, who was appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama.


The committee that is investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, has issued a subpoena to Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

In response, Vos filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Wisconsin to prevent the Committee from enforcing the subpoena.

Vos was called to appear for a deposition today - Sept. 26, two days before the Committee's next public hearing, according to federal court records.

The committee wants to question Vos about a phone call he had with former President Donald Trump in July after the state courts blocked the use of some absentee ballot dropboxes and Trump "requested Speaker Vos take future actions."

Vos is challenging the House committee's authority in court and arguing the subpoena "seeks to infringe on his legislative immunity" from lawsuits.

Part of the document filed reads: "The only explanation for such an extreme timeline is the Committee's desire to conduct the deposition before its next publicly televised hearing on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, so that clips can be edited out to be used in a multimedia show."

The document goes on to state, "Importantly, the Committee is not seeking to depose Speaker Vos to question him about the breach of the Capitol, the events leading up to January 6, 2021, or the events of the 2020 election. Rather, the Committee is seeking to depose Speaker Vos, with no notice, to ask him about a conversation he had with former President Donald Trump two months ago. In short, the Committee is demanding Speaker Vos appear for a deposition to answer questions irrelevant to the Committee's investigations, with virtually no notice, in the closing days of his reelection campaign, merely because of the Committee's public relations scheme."

Vos is seeking a hearing within 72 hours on a temporary restraining order preventing the committee from enforcing the subpoena.

Similar lawsuits from other House witnesses have not been successful or have not been decided yet.