These 4 Trump loyalists are on the brink of criminal referrals in Jan. 6 investigation
Four top members of Team Trump have an October 7 deadline to turn documents over to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. It's not looking like they're going to comply, a possibility Chair Bennie Thompson anticipated when he said the committee was prepared to make criminal referrals. Rep. Jamie Raskin reinforced that point on Tuesday, tweeting that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, aide Dan Scavino, Trump loyalist Kash Patel, and former campaign manager Steve Bannon "have two days left to comply with the @January6thCmte's subpoenas. Each of these men should be ready and willing to protect their country against violent insurrection, but as a reminder: noncompliance with Congress invites criminal sanctions."
The committee hasn't even been able to physically serve Scavino with his subpoena, CNN reports, about which "One source familiar with the situation joked that the committee should just tweet the subpoena to the former Trump aide since he's been actively trolling the panel there in recent days."
It's not a surprise that a source tells The Guardian's Hugo Lowell that all four—Meadows, Scavino, Patel, and Bannon—are planning to defy the subpoenas in whole or in part. That is reportedly at the instruction of Donald Trump or his lawyers, not that any of the four probably needed encouragement. Trump has claimed that executive privilege covers White House communications relating to the effort to overturn the election and the attack on the Capitol. Still, President Biden gets to make that call—after all, Trump is not the executive—and he's said no dice.
These are just the first four people to get subpoenas from the January 6 committee. Eleven more people got subpoenas at the end of September, including leaders of "Women for America First," the group that formally staged the rally that turned into a march on and attack of the Capitol, as well as former Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.
The committee isn't stuck waiting for the subpoenas to succeed, though. Speaking of the four men expected to refuse to turn over documents this week, and the committee's progress in general, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the Republicans on the committee, told CNN, "The problem is when you start seeing people resist, and people obfuscate, you have to look at that and go why are they doing that if they have nothing to hide? We have a lot of people coming and talking to us voluntarily. We'll get to the bottom of it. We want to do it quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly."
Thursday, we'll see how the committee responds when Meadows, Scavino, Patel, and Bannon blow off its subpoenas. The correct answer for how, by the way, is swiftly and harshly.
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