Capitol riot investigators 'engaged' with US Marshals
The U.S. Marshals could soon deploy against witnesses facing subpoenas from Capitol riot investigators, a House Democrat warned this week.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, presaged what comes next even before the panel announced that it is moving forward with holding former Trump White House chief strategist Steven Bannon in criminal contempt for failing to show up for a deposition on Thursday. The next step is a business meeting planned for Tuesday.
"We have engaged with a wide variety of law enforcement offices, including the U.S. Marshals, in order to issue the subpoenas," the Florida Democrat said on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday. "We will use everything, as you said, with all due respect, we will use all of the agencies and all of the tools at our disposal to issue the subpoenas and enforce them."
Former President Donald Trump directed a quartet of close advisers, including Bannon, not to comply with subpoenas issued by the House Jan. 6 Select Committee that sought documents by last week and testimony this week.
"Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President's insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke," said Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson in a press statement on Thursday. "We reject his position entirely. The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt."
Bannon's team sent a letter last week informing the committee that he would not cooperate with the select committee's subpoena.
"It is therefore clear to us that since the executive privileges belong to President Trump," wrote Robert Costello, Bannon's lawyer, "and he has, through his counsel, announced his intention to assert those executive privileges enumerated above, we must accept his direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege. As such, until these issues are resolved, we are unable to respond to your request for documents and testimony."
Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff, and Kash Patel, a former Pentagon aide, were so far "engaging" with the committee, panel leaders said. Dan Scavino, another Trump White House aide, was served a subpoena on Friday after a struggle to locate him, according to CNN .
Eleven others tied to the organization of the Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 rallies leading up to the Capitol riot have also been subpoenaed .
President Joe Biden's White House declined to assert executive privilege after Trump sought to withhold documents related to the Jan. 6 riot from Congress.
If the Justice Department prosecutes Bannon and he is convicted, he could face fines up to $100,000 and up to a year in prison.
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