Schiff Pledges Criminal Proceedings Against Jan. 6 Subpoena Defiers


The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has subpoenaed, among other targets, former top Trump adviser Steve Bannon — and Bannon has revealed his intention to not cooperate with the subpoena, citing claims of executive privilege from former President Trump. Now, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is a member of the riot investigation committee, says that “those who don’t cooperate with our committee are going to be the subject of criminal contempt,” as reported by CNN’s Annie Grayer.

Per Grayer, Schiff commented as follows:

‘We have a new attorney general, a new justice department dedicated to the principle that no one is above the law. So Bannon is in a completely different situation now… he’s exposed… Those who don’t cooperate with our committee are going to be the subject of criminal contempt. We will vote on it in the House at the appropriate time, and we will refer to the Justice Department for prosecution. So we’re not fooling around.’

POLITICO has previously reported how being found guilty of contempt of Congress can bring up to a year in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who lead the riot investigation committee, have said that former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Defense Department official Kash Patel have been “engaging” with the panel in response to their own subpoenas, although what exactly that entailed was not immediately clear. The committee has since subpoenaed an array of others, like “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander and former Trump campaign official Katrina Pierson, who was reported to have been a sort of “liaison” between the Trump White House and D.C. rallying around the time when the riot broke out.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department is also working on initiatives like fighting the recently enacted Texas abortion ban in court. Recently, federal authorities scored a temporary block on enforcement of that law, which bans most abortions after some six weeks of pregnancy, but that block was later temporarily suspended, leaving federal authorities to argue for re-instating a suspension of the law. The Justice Department has also sued over restrictive election rules that were recently signed into law by Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp. Among a slew of rules, those provisions include new restrictions on the numbers of drop boxes for mail-in ballots that counties can have, which pointlessly curtails access to the electoral process for voters.