The House committee investigating the Capitol riot stands ready to hold individuals accountable should they defy subpoenas from the panel, according to committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). Those who have been subpoenaed so far include several top Trump allies and nearly a dozen individuals connected in some way to rallies in D.C. that preceded the violence. One of those in the latter group is Katrina Pierson, a former Trump campaign official who has been reported to have been a “liaison” between the Trump White House and D.C. rally efforts.
Raskin commented during a recent appearance on MSNBC as follows:
‘So if you get one of these subpoenas, that’s not an optional thing. That is legally mandatory, and we can coerce your cooperation through criminal contempt or civil contempt, or what’s called the inherent contempt powers of Congress, where we actually can call people before Congress and fine them and use our own sanctions. That hasn’t been done for a long time, but I don’t think anybody should be testing our patience at this point.’
Trump has, predictably, lashed out against efforts to obtain information related to the role that he and others in his circles had in fomenting the riot, and specifically, the former president has cited the legal principle known as executive privilege in his tirades against the committee — but Raskin outlined how such doesn’t exactly apply here.
As Raskin pointedly put it:
‘Luckily, the ball is basically in the court of the current president under the laws that we have governing the release of this information, and the last several administrations have released testimony and evidence from prior administrations… As for executive privilege, that really belongs primarily to the current president… The public wants the truth, and we need the truth in order to protect the security of the government, the security of the people against terrorist attacks like the ones we saw on January the 6th.’
The Congressman also indicated that the riot investigation committee is prepared to issue criminal referrals to the Justice Department if it uncovers evidence of criminal activity connected to the riot that is not already known to authorities. Check out Raskin’s comments on the issue below: