The Capitol riot committee will 'draw a circle -- with Donald Trump in the middle': CNN's Elie Honig
On CNN Thursday, following the announcement of the first four January 6 committee subpoenas issued against former President Donald Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows, strategist Steve Bannon, social media director Dan Scavino, and defense official Kash Patel, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig weighed in on the significance.
"What level of cooperation are you going to get?" asked anchor Erin Burnett. "Are they going to completely defy it, is there any way to get them to comply?"
"Here is how this will play out," said Honig. "I would not expect any of these people to comply, to come in and testify because that is the history of the pattern we have seen from Trump White House when it was in power and now. Here is what happens next. It's up to the committee to decide are we going to go to court and fight this. Are we going to go to court and say we need a specific order from you requiring them to come in and testify and the key there is timing ... in past, it's taken House Democrats way too long to get into courts and these disputes have dragged on for months and years to the point where nobody even cared. The committee has to be ready to act quickly and demand expedited, sped up review from the courts here."
"What do these tell you about where this investigation is headed?" asked Burnett. "There's a whole lot of reasons why you may have started here, but these are four people they are starting with?
"This shows me they are looking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," said Honig. "These are people who we know and letter confirms they were this direct communication with Donald Trump or having key conversations in days, hours leading up to January 6th and during January 6th. The questions for Mark Meadows and the other folks is you walk me through January 6th, minute by minute, phone call by phone call. This is at heart of the investigation."
Honig then gave an explanation for the legal strategy behind the committee's moves.
"What they are trying to do is draw a circle here, with Donald Trump in the middle," said Honig. "Who did he talk to? What were they talking about? Were they talking about what would happen on January 6th? Were they talking about the rigged election and et cetera, et cetera? I think they are kind of working their way in with Donald Trump in the center and I think they are going to be a lot of other circles, but these four people are people who are known to have communicated directly with the former president and that's important."
Elie Honig on new Capitol riot commission subpoenas www.youtube.com
The bipartisan House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack issued subpoenas to four of Donald Trump's closest deputies Thursday night, ordering them to produce documents and appear for depositions.
The four are Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, and Dan Scavino.The bipartisan House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack issued subpoenas to four of Donald Trump's closest deputies Thursday night, ordering them to produce documents and appear for depositions.
The four are Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, and Dan Scavino.
"Stephen Bannon," Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) writes on the committee's official website, "reportedly communicated with former President Trump on December 30th, 2020, urging him to focus his efforts on January 6th. Mr. Bannon also reportedly attended a gathering at the Willard Hotel on January 5th, 2021, as part of an effort to persuade Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day. Mr. Bannon is also quoted as stating, on January 5th, that '[a]ll Hell is going to break loose tomorrow.'"
In his letter to Bannon, Chairman Thompson writes, the "inquiry includes examination of how various individuals and entities coordinated their activities leading up to the events of January 6, 2021."
Below is the letter from Chairman Thompson to Bannon, via NBC4 Washington Investigative Reporter Scott MacFarlane:
Congress must 'enforce subpoenas through contempt' to make ex-Trump officials talk: former federal prosecutor
The subpoenas issued by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol will only matter if Congress is prepared to enforce them, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner explained on Thursday.
"Chairman Bennie G. Thompson today announced that he has issued a round of subpoenas for documents and testimony to four individuals with close ties to the former President who were working in or had communications with the White House on or in the days leading up to the January 6th insurrection," the committee announced.
"In letters to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, and former Trump advisor Stephen Bannon, Chairman Thompson instructed the witnesses to produce materials and appear at depositions in the weeks ahead," the committee explained.
Kirschner said it would come down to enforcement.
"We've seen prior administration officials thumb their noses at congressional subpoenas," he noted. "We'll have to ask the question, 'Has Congress learned its lessons of the past by failing to aggressively try to enforce its subpoenas if witnesses refuse to comply?" he wondered.
"There, of course, are three ways Congress can do that. With civil enforcement, with criminal contempt, and with the inherent power Congress has to enforce its own subpoenas through contempt," he explained.
subpoena enforcement www.youtube.com
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