Members of the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection have expressed frustration with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has responded slowly to recommendations to seek charges against Trump administration aides that have defied the committee by refusing to appear for depositions or provide documents.
“The Department of Justice has a duty to act on this referral and others that we have sent,” said Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
“Without enforcement of Congressional subpoenas, there is no oversight, and without oversight, no accountability — for the former President, or any other president, past, present, or future. Without enforcement of its lawful process, Congress ceases to be a co-equal branch of government, and the balance of power would be forever altered, to the lasting detriment of the American people,” he said.
Last night, the committee voted to hold the Trump administration’s former trade and manufacturing director Peter Navarro and former communications chief Daniel Scavino Jr. in contempt for refusing to comply with committee subpoenas.
“They potentially played a part in an attack on American democracy, but they can ignore our investigation because they worked for the government at the time. That’s their argument,” said Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.). “They’re not fooling anybody. They are obligated to comply with our investigation. They have refused to do so, and that’s a crime.”
Thus far, the Justice Department has only filed charges against Steve Bannon, former President Donald Trump’s ex-chief strategist. It has not responded to a similar report regarding Mark Meadows, Trump’s former Chief of Staff.
In December 2021, prosecutors overseeing the case against Bannon made clear they can make their case against him in a single day, according to a court filing.
“The Government anticipates that its case-in-chief will consist of one day of testimony,” prosecutors said in the report, adding that they want to prohibit Bannon from employing any defense that claims that he was acting on the advice of his lawyers when he defied the subpoena from the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the events of January 6.
Bannon’s trial is set to begin in June. He faces up to two years in prison and $200,000 in fines if convicted.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.