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