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Trump at a rally on 8 OctoberImage source, Reuters

The US congressional committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot has issued a legal summons ordering former President Donald Trump to testify to lawmakers.

Addressing him, the subpoena reads: “You were at the center of the first and only effort by any US President to overturn an election.”

It goes on: “You knew this activity was illegal and unconstitutional.”

Mr Trump could face criminal charges if he does not comply with the summons.

The select committee is looking into Trump supporters’ violent storming of the US Capitol building on 6 January, 2021.

The panel’s seven Democrats and two Republicans unanimously voted last week to force the Republican to testify about his role in the riot.

Lawmakers say Mr Trump egged on his supporters to reject the 2020 presidential election result, leading them storm the halls of Congress in an effort to prevent Joe Biden from being certified as the winner.

They say his false claims of voter interference and arguments that the election was “stolen” were a specific attempt to instigate a coup against the US government. However, they have not referred him to the US Justice Department to face potential criminal charges.

The subpoena was issued just hours after former Trump strategist Steve Bannon was fined $6,500 (£5,833) and sentenced to four months in jail for contempt of Congress. He was convicted after refusing to provide either testimony or documents to the January 6 committee.

If Republicans retake control of the House of Representatives after November’s midterms elections – which is widely expected – the 6 January committee’s work with come to an end and the panel will be disbanded.

Mr Trump – who has lambasted the inquiry as a ruse designed to distract US voters from the “disaster” of Democratic governance – is widely expected to refuse to testify and fight the subpoena.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated