Legal experts on Thursday analyzed the subpoenas issued by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"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.
CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams said it suggested an aggressive posture by the select committee.
"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," Williams wrote on Twitter.
On CNN, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig said he expected resistance.
""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," Honig said.
The question of what Congress should do if the subpoenas are resisted was also raised. On MSNBC, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner noted the mechanisms Congress has available to enforce subpoenas.
"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.
Former federal prosecutor Richard Signorelli argued that Congress should be aggressive.
"Contempt and incarceration. No exceptions, no negotiations," he counseled.
Meanwhile, Trump released a statement saying he would "will fight the Subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds."
But Williams explained the problems with that approach.
"Trump will likely try to claim executive privilege over some of the documents and conversations here, but has two problems: (1) many communications would have been on behalf of Trump the *candidate*, not Trump the *president*, and not protected, and executive privilege can't (and shouldn't!) be a shield for covering up wrongdoing," he wrote. "Similar concept exists in criminal law; you can't tell your lawyer you're going to commit a crime, and then claim your statement was private/privileged because it was to your lawyer."
'No one is off the table': Adam Schiff vows that Capitol riot committee subpoenas are just getting started
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) elaborated on what happens next now that the January 6 committee has issued subpoenas against four prominent Trump allies.
"These are four important witnesses and they're all very close to the former president and some were in direct communication with him on January 5th, on January 6th, and they are reportedly in communication about how to overturn their results of the election," said Schiff. "Mark Meadows, for example, involved with the Justice Department trying to get the Justice Department to put pressure on Georgia, to decertify the results of the election."
"What does it tell us, though, about the direction of the inquiry, and how Trump-centered is your focus?" asked Chris Cuomo.
"Well, I think it tells you this," said Schiff. "No one is off the table. We'll determine what went wrong in the lead-up to January 6th and we're going to find out who was involved and who was knowledgeable and what roles they played in the planning, what expectation they had of violence, and what the former president was doing. Among the biggest unknowns is what was going on within the White House on January 5th and 6th at that critical time when our democracy was being threatened with a violent insurrection? So we're not wasting time ... we've made a lot of strides in requiring documents that we need for the investigation."
"Do you anticipate one or more of these men saying, I can't testify, I have immunity?" asked Cuomo.
"If past is prologue, we can certainly anticipate that some may seek to thwart our investigation, and certainly the former president has been talking along those lines, and if you look at all of the obstruction and all of the stonewalling of the subpoenas by some of these same people in the prior administration ... we experienced that kind of stonewalling before," said Schiff. "But unlike the last four years, these witnesses are not going to be able to count on the former president to protect them if they essentially thwart the law, and I would hope that we can move expeditiously to enforce the subpoenas. If that's necessary, I hope it won't be, but if it is, but also that the Justice Department would be open to considering potential criminal contempt charges against anyone who ignores the law."
Adam Schiff discusses new Trump ally subpoenas www.youtube.com
Trump sent a virologist to Nevada to investigate voter fraud -- all while ignoring the pandemic: leaked emails
Leaked emails reveal that virologist Steven Hatfill, who was directly involved in the Trump White House's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, regularly complained that he was not able to focus on the stopping the virus because he was assigned to investigate purported "voter fraud" cases.
The emails, which were obtained by the Washington Post, show Hatfill complaining in October 2020 that his work on the virus was "taking a backseat to election stuff," and then in November 2020 writing that he had "shifted over to the election fraud investigation in November" instead of working on a plan to contain the virus.
At the time, COVID-19 was at the beginning of a long winter surge that would culminate in January where the United States was averaging more than 3,400 deaths from the virus every day.
By January, even with cases surging and hospitals getting overrun, Hatfill still wasn't focusing on the virus.
When a colleague of his asked him why they weren't doing more to get COVID-19 under control, he replied, ""Because the election thing got out of control. I go where my team goes," and then talked about his efforts to overturn the election results in Nevada.
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