Panelists on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" discussed the latest developments in the House select committee's investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection, and whether attorney general Merrick Garland would hold anyone accountable for resisting subpoenas.
The select committee issued another round of subpoenas Monday to Donald Trump's inner circle, and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, co-author of the new book, "Peril," discussed the evidence he has uncovered of the former president's efforts to overturn his election loss.
"We reported that Trump was calling in to the Willard 'war room,' that there was coordination of this pressure campaign, but we still have to learn more," Costa said. "What was the extent of Trump's conversations with [Rudy] Giuliani and [Steve] Bannon and others. You also have John Eastman, when we discovered his memo, we found two-page memo many are calling it a blueprint for a coup, but who directs him to do this? Who circulates this around the White House? We know it reached [Sen.] Mike Lee of Utah, there are still unanswered questions. They're going to try to fight this on the Republican-Trump side all the way to the Supreme Court to avoid answering questions."
Trump has claimed executive privilege over much of the evidence sought by House investigators, but Costa is skeptical that a court will agree.
"They're all waiting to see if the Supreme Court weighs in and protects privilege," Costa said. "That's why the [Department of Justice] matters here. Is there going to be a criminal investigation of this insurrection in any way? A criminal investigation is what opened up Watergate. It enables the Supreme Court to say we need to get the information, is that going to happen here?"
That spurred MSNBC's Mike Barnicle to ask whether President Joe Biden's attorney general would take action.
"You live and work in the city where this event took place on Jan. 6," Barnicle said. "What took place was a group of people, a small group of people at the beginning of it, who have tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the existing government of the United States and the incoming government of the United States, so my question to you is, and you just referenced it: Where is Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice?"
Costa seemed just as mystified by the apparent inaction.
"They're holding back," Costa said. "They're in the process of prosecuting the hundreds of people who stormed the Capitol at a grassroots level, those who committed violence or caught on videotapes. The question I have as a reporter is what about those at the top, those who stoked these movements to happen, who put a scenario in place where an insurrection unfolds? That's really a [to-be-determined] answer, Mike, and for President Biden this is a real challenge."
"Can the country move on if the answers aren't really there on an insurrection?" he added. "This wasn't just about trying to steal the election. At the least they were trying to smear Biden and say he was an illegitimate president. From Day One of his presidency, he's had at least half the country, the Republican Party, being told by people like Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon and Trump that he's not the rightful president. So it's only clear answers, clarity, about an insurrection, it's hard to see the Biden presidency getting on the right footing."
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