Joe Biden says Justice Department should prosecute anyone who defies Jan. 6 committee subpoena
The Justice Department reacted to President Biden’s request to have individuals prosecuted for refusing a subpoena issued by the congressional committee investigating Jan. 6 riot at U.S. Capitol.
” The Department of Justice makes its own decisions regarding all cases based on the facts only. It’s that simple. “Full stop,” Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley stated in an email to The Washington Times.
In his strongest yet comments on what to do to people who refuse to follow the committee’s recommendations, Mr. Biden said Friday that they should face legal consequences.
” I hope that the committee pursues them and holds them responsible,” Mr. Biden said to reporters at the White House.
When Mr. Biden was asked if he believed the Justice Department ought to prosecute anyone who bucks a subpoena from a committee, he replied, “I do .”
Mr. Biden’s statements are the first time that the White House has intervened in the case of those who refuse to comply with subpoenas from the committee.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on Thursday if Mr. Biden thinks anyone who refuses to comply with a subpoena from a committee should be charged.
“It is the Department of Justice ‘s responsibility to decide if there would have to be a criminal referral. They handle only those decisions, so they’d point me to them,” Ms. Psaki stated.
On Thursday, the committee scheduled to vote on criminal contempt charges against Steve Bannon, former adviser to President Donald Trump, who defied subpoenas. The vote will be held on Tuesday.
” The Select Committee will not tolerate the defiance of subpoenas,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (Mississippi Democrat) stated in a statement.
Mr. Thompson claimed that Mr. Bannon “hide behind the former president’s insufficiently blanketed and vague statements concerning privileges he purported to invoke .”
If the Democrat-led Committee approves the charges, the recommendation for criminal charges would be sent to the full House. If the House approves the charges, the Justice Department would decide whether or not to prosecute Mr. Bannon.
The 19 Subpoenas issued by the committee have been mainly to ex-Trump aides. While Mr. Bannon has obstructed the committee’s authority, other members appear to be making negotiating appearances.
Three people, including two White House staffers Megan Powers (and Hannah Salem), have so far agreed to the subpoenas. Lyndon Brentnall also agreed to appear. His firm was originally hired to provide security for the Ellipse on that day.