Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said this week that recent subpoenas from the Jan. 6 commission could result in criminal contempt charges being referred to the United States Department of Justice should their recipients refuse to comply.
"If it gets to a point where we realize they're stonewalling or they're not serious, there's contempt things you can file … You can do it through the DOJ, criminal contempt. I think that's our leaning, is to say criminal contempt," said Kinzinger.
But civil rights lawyer Andrew C. Laufer said that after careful consideration he thinks that he thinks it's the wrong way to move forward and Congress should be the ones to enforce contempt charges.
Taking to Twitter on Monday, Laufer said that those defying subpoenas should be punished by Congress because if it defers to the Justice Department or even a grand jury, it would be ceding the power of Congress to the other two branches when they were granted equal power in the Constitution.
"If the House flips during the midterms, these putative witnesses will run out the clock until the new Congress is seated. If you're worried about opening Pandora's Box, in exercising your inherent powers, it was already opened on Jan. 6, 2021," Laufer continued. "Congress was attacked by hundreds of traitors. People were killed because of it. An attack on Congress hasn't happened since 1954 and that attack came nowhere near to decapitating a branch of our government as the attack on Jan. 6th did."
He noted that Trump and his allies were all involved in "fomenting the violence" seen at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and that they're continuing to inflict damage on the country by inciting future violence.
"If we don't utilize every tool at our disposal to hold these people responsible, we invite further and more successful attempts to destroy all that we hold dear," he said, noting that this is not business as usual and shouldn't be treated as such.
While delays are expected, he said that Congress should use its authority to hold Trump allies in contempt.