Trump ordered to appear before January 6th Committee - what next?

Watch ITV News US correspondent Robert Moore's report

We witnessed a Washington political drama for the ages yesterday.

It had all the ingredients of a thriller: improvised footage of American leaders being escorted into secured locations; frantic calls on mobile phones to government agencies and state governors begging for military intervention; a speaker of the house calm and composed as those around her were panicking.

In the background, on TV screens, a mob could be seen storming the building in which the congressional leaders were hiding.

This was a video presentation by the January 6th House Select Committee that was designed to grab the attention of the American people. It surely worked.

Those were images and phone conversations that will be played in documentaries and news reports for years to come.

The committee placed Trump as the very centre of a multi-layered conspiracy to overthrow American democracy. And in the final moments of the committee hearing, there was the political denouement.

Every member of the committee voted to subpoena Donald Trump, ordering the former president to appear before them to explain his role on that infamous day and to answer their questions.

A retired general who served as Trump's national security adviser, is displayed as the House select committee investigating the Jan 6 attack Credit: AP

So what happens next? It sets up a huge legal and political fight.

If Trump refuses to appear he risks being held in contempt and could be jailed.

If he does appear, he will seek to turn it into a giant circus and he will confront his enemies on live television.

Either way, it's a constitutional train wreck coming down the tracks.

And at the heart of it, perhaps just as he would like, is the man who still utterly dominates America's raucous and bitter political debate, Donald J Trump.

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