Oct 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cheney threatens criminal contempt if Jan. 6 panel subpoenas ignored

 Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) attends a House Armed Services Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Rep. Liz Cheney during a September House hearing at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

The Jan 6. select committee investigating the Capitol riot "will move" criminal contempt charges against anyone who doesn't comply with its subpoenas, warned Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the panel's vice chair, Tuesday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: It follows reports that former President Trump told former aides and associates to invoke executive privilege and not comply with congressional requests.

  • Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told CBS Sunday that the panel was "prepared to go forward and urge the Justice Department to criminally prosecute anyone who does not do their lawful duty."

Of note: Cheney told reporters Tuesday that there was unanimous agreement on the panel to take prosecutorial action if required, according to Reuters.

  • "In general, people are going to have to appear, or ... we will move contempt charges against them," Cheney said.

The big picture: The panel last month subpoenaed former Trump administration aides Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino and Kash Patel, as well as 11 people involved in planning a rally for the president ahead of the deadly insurrection.

What to watch: Cheney expects to have Meadows' and Patel's depositions with the panel this week.

  • "We'll see if they show up," she said, per Reuters. "If they show up, we'll be prepared."
  • The committee has already warned it will "consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral" for Bannon if he refuses to cooperate.

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