Politics

President Biden to support DOJ prosecution of Trump officials who defy Jan. 6 committee subpoenas

On Friday, President Joe Biden said the U.S. Department of Justice should prosecute people who defy subpoenas to testify in relation to the January 6 incident at the Capitol. Those who have been issued subpoenas are expected to testify before a congressional select committee. 

“I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable,” said President Biden, referencing the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the day. When asked if he believed the Justice Department should prosecute, Biden replied, “I do, yes.” Steve Bannon, an advisor to former President Donald Trump, has not complied with the committee’s subpoena. Although he was scheduled for a deposition before the committee, his lawyer wrote in a letter to the panel the day prior that Bannon would not provide testimony or documents until an agreement over “executive privilege” is reached or unless a court weighs in; in response, the committee is planning to vote on Tuesday on adopting a contempt of Congress report against him. 

The Trump legal team previously told former advisors and aides to not testify or hand over records, citing “executive and other privileges, including among others the presidential communications, deliberative process, and attorney-client privileges.” Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesperson, called the records request “outrageously broad,” saying it “lacks both legal precedent and legislative merit.” Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel are to be subpoenaed by the House in addition to Bannon.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s earlier remarks seemingly contradict Biden’s push to have non-compliant individuals prosecuted by the DOJ as she cited the department’s independence. “That would be up to the Department of Justice, and it would be their purview to determine. They’re an independent agency,” she told reporters at the October 8 press briefing. “They’re independent. They would – they would determine any decision on criminal prosecutions. I’d point you to them and, of course, the committee.” Last week, she declined to say whether the White House had discussed prosecutorial decisions with Attorney General Merrick Garland or any others at the DOJ.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS

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