During an appearance on CNN, Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) — a member of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot — insisted that the riot investigation committee would not stand down in its efforts to obtain testimony from allies of former President Trump who have been targeted with subpoenas. Former top Trump adviser Steve Bannon has already been indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the riot investigation committee, and other close allies of the former president — like ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark — have similarly refused to answer substantive questions from the committee, leaving themselves vulnerable to contempt charges, but Aguilar was undeterred.
As the Congressman pointedly put it, referring to those under subpoena:
‘What I can tell you is that they have a duty to comply — any citizen who received a subpoena would. And clearly, their posture here is to stonewall, and that’s going to have consequences. Their defiance for the rule of law is really the problem here, but we’re going to continue to plow ahead. We’re going to continue to do the work to find the truth.’
To that end, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the riot investigation committee, has indicated that even more subpoenas are on the way. Those who’ve already been subpoenaed include prominent Trump associates like former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who said on Fox that he intended to “respond” to the committee’s demands. The panel has also targeted individuals involved in putting together the Women for America First rally in D.C. on January 6 that immediately preceded the riot.
Asked a follow-up question while on CNN of whether he expected Trump allies to use the litigation over Trump administration records at the National Archives as an excuse to “stall,” Aguilar added the following:
‘I think that crew will do anything they can to try to stonewall and evade our lawful search for the truth. But the reality is, we’ve had over 200 interviews with witnesses. We’ve looked at over 25,000 documents. And we continue to make significant progress irrespective of this fight that some of this small group of advisers continues to put forward. Our seek and determination for the truth, and to find out what happened that day on January 6, and leading up to it, will continue.’
Other members of the committee, such as chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), have made similar remarks in public. Thompson and Cheney said after Bannon’s charges were unveiled that his “indictment should send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can ignore the Select Committee or try to stonewall our investigation: no one is above the law. We will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to get the information we need.” Watch Aguilar’s remarks below:
Any attempt to stonewall our investigation will lead to consequences.
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) November 17, 2021