Oct 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

Photo of Joe Biden standing next to reporters who are holding out their phones at him
President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.

  • Trump has told former aides and associates to invoke executive privilege and refuse to comply with subpoenas related to the Capitol insurrection.
  • The select committee will convene on Tuesday to vote on pursuing possible criminal contempt charges against Bannon.

What he's saying: "I hope the committee goes after them and holds them accountable," Biden told reporters en route from Connecticut on Friday.

  • The president answered in the affirmative when asked if the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas.

The big picture, via Axios' Zachary Basu: It's the first major test for how the committee will respond to witnesses' refusal to cooperate, an obstacle that stalled countless Democratic investigations during the Trump era by triggering protracted legal battles.

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