Patel and Bannon are due to testify before the committee Thursday and Meadows and Scavino on Friday. It is unclear if any of them will comply.
But the January 6th Committee members are not up for any GOP games. Rep. Adam Schiff told Nicolle Wallace Wednesday that the committee will move to hold in criminal contempt anyone who doesn’t appear and will then refer the matter to the Justice Department. “Our expectation is they will be prosecuted,” he added.
Then Schiff let the Trumpers know that there’s a new sheriff in town, one who upholds the law with everyone.
Greg Sargent explained why this is so important in an excellent column. The Trump right-wing has engaged in “a concerted campaign to cow good faith actors” into accepting illegal behavior as “the price for for future democratic stability,” Sargent wrote. He cited as an example the House GOP leadership openly threatening retribution against telecoms and social media companies that honor the Jan. 6 committee’s subpoenas.
This sort of thing also games our discourse. It ends up portraying efforts at accountability as themselves representing disruptive norm-violations. This effectively reduces GOP bad faith and bad acting to a natural background feature of our politics, and recasts acting against it, or even efforts at communicating basic truths about it, as the real departure from normality.
Sargent also pointed to the DOJ’s role in this. Previously, “senior department officials have indicated a reluctance to be perceived as acting politically by re-litigating past battles over Trump, seeing this as a threat to the restoration of normalcy,” Sargent wrote.
Fortunately, Schiff’s comments send a strong message to the DOJ as well.
Wallace: There are a couple of individuals whose deadline is tomorrow… What will you do if the deadline comes and goes for two witnesses who have been subpoenaed and they don’t show up?
Schiff: We will move to hold them in criminal contempt… pic.twitter.com/5FcVclJeCG
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 13, 2021