A member of the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 strongly rejected one of the biggest arguments against jailing Donald Trump allies who refuse to cooperate with the congressional probe.
Some senior officials in the Department of Justice have indicated a reluctance to be perceived as taking political actions by prosecuting Trump associates over their roles in the insurrection or for hindering the investigation of the riot, but Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) argued that there's nothing unusual about taking such actions, reported the Washington Post.
"People are held in criminal contempt all of the time, all over the country, for disobeying subpoenas and not showing up in court," Raskin said. "There's nothing remotely unusual about it."
The Justice Department would have every reason to enforce criminal contempt referrals from Congress, Raskin said, particularly since they involve violent attempts to overthrow the government and keep the ex-president in power.
"Contempt proceedings are the way we deal with people who refuse to honor the justice system's pursuit of the truth," Raskin said. "There is no exception for the cronies of former presidents."
"Trump somehow hypnotized the country into thinking that the right wing is immune to prosecution for criminal violations," the congressman added. "That cannot be right. The law applies neutrally to everyone."