The Democrat-led January 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas to four former aides to President Donald Trump Thursday.
Those receiving subpoenas for documents and testimony include former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, former communications official Dan Scavino, and former Defense Department official Kash Patel.
What prompted these actions?
The four committed the crime of “working in or (having) communications with the White House on or in the days leading up to the January 6th insurrection.”
In a statement announcing the subpoenas, Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) claimed they were simply going after the facts.
“The select committee is investigating the facts, circumstances and causes of the Jan. 6 attack, and issues relating to the peaceful transfer of power, in order to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend to the House and its relevant committees corrective laws, policies, procedures, rules or regulations,” Thompson wrote.
There’s no enough anticipation in the world for this showdown, which I cannot begin to imagine Democrats will let happen in public. You’re gonna face off with Bannon?! Please do. We want to see this. https://t.co/MnAXDmYQoR
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) September 24, 2021
Subpoenas For Trump Staff
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Committee member Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned that any of the Trump allies who do not comply with the subpoenas will be guilty of “criminal contempt.”
“We may have additional tools now that we didn’t before, including a Justice Department that may be willing to pursue criminal contempt when people deliberately flout compulsory process,” he said.
Legal analyst Elliott Williams suggested the speed with which the January 6 committee is moving is a sign that they are very serious.
“Quick subpoenas like this are a sign they’re not messing around,” he tweeted.
🚨. This is a big deal because usual practice in congressional investigations is to try to negotiate with witnesses before issuing subpoenas. Quick subpoenas like this are a sign they’re not messing around. https://t.co/n0RZXPaTnN
— Elliot Williams (@elliotcwilliams) September 23, 2021
The politics of the moment, however, cannot be ignored: Democrats are facing the possibility of a bloodbath in the 2022 midterm elections with polls already trending toward Republicans, an unpopular Democrat president, and a White House making matters worse on a daily basis.
“If Democrats lose control of the House, the select committee would likely be in peril,” Axios writes.
JUST IN: The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has issued subpoenas to some of fmr. President Trump’s closest advisers, including Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, and Dan Scavino. pic.twitter.com/1SKD9nsO2x
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 24, 2021
Trump Vows To Fight
In a statement issued Thursday evening, the former President vowed to fight any subpoenas coming out of the January 6 “unselect committee.”
“We will fight the subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds, for the good of our country, while we wait to find out whether or not subpoenas will be sent out to Antifa and BLM for the death and destruction they have caused,” Trump wrote.
“The “Unselect Committee” of highly partisan politicians, a similar group that perpetrated the now proven lie of Russia, Russia, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and many other Scams, has sent out Harassment Subpoenas on Jan. 6th pic.twitter.com/Kl97cqakHQ
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) September 24, 2021
The committee, led by Thompson and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), in August advised telecommunication companies to preserve the phone records of certain individuals, including lawmakers and possibly members of President Trump’s family.
The request also demanded federal agencies turn over “all documents and communications relating to the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
Additionally, the select committee requested a release of “all documents and communications related to the mental stability of Donald Trump or his fitness for office.”
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) August 25, 2021
Republican lawmakers turned the tables in a letter to various telecommunication and social media companies saying that if those companies provide Democrats with the phone records of Republicans, they need to provide Republicans with the phone records of Democrats.
I just sent a letter to 13 companies condemning Democrats’ attempt to illegally obtain private phone records as part of their investigation into the events of January 6th.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) September 3, 2021
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) criticized the select committee, saying their latest actions show their efforts are “more about politics than anything else.”
“There’s only two questions that this committee should actually be looked upon: Why was the Capitol left so ill-prepared, and how can we make sure this never happens again?” McCarthy said.
“But that’s not what they’re focused on.”
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