The January 6th Committee subpoenas to Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan and three more MAGA congressmen are not about their own role in the insurrection, but about pressuring them to either reveal what they know about Donald Trump’s role.
Elie Mystal chatted with MSNBC's Tiffany Cross about the significance of these latest high-level subpoenas, even though the two acknowledged the five members will enjoy a privilege of ignoring them the rest of us never would. “If I defied a subpoena, they would be coming through my window right now,” Mystal said.
But he continued by pointing out that the subpoenas, themselves, reveal what the committee is focusing on: Trump’s role in the insurrection, not whether any of the five helped it.
MYSTAL: It is interesting, right? They subpoenaed these five congressman, and not like Marjorie Taylor Greene, not Filene’s Basement Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert. They subpoenaed the people who talked to Donald Trump, which means they're less interested in who helped the little people storm the Capitol and more interested in what the president knew, when the president knew it and what the president did or did not do to stop it, right?
So they only subpoenaed people that they believe, that we believe through public leaks, had actual conversations or meetings with the president either on the day, during the insurrection, or in the planning of the insurrection. That seems like a very specific focus. They didn’t subpoena Lindsey Graham. They didn’t subpoena just anybody they could think of that might have had some attachment to January 6th.
They subpoenaed the people who talked to the president.
The cooperation of the congressmen may not matter to the committee, though. The committee already knows much of what these people would be able to tell it.
So when it’s time for the hearings, the committee will not only reveal that but, as Rep. Eric Swalwell put it, the inference of guilt if the congressmen insist on remaining silent.
Mystal put a fine point on it.
MYSTAL: So all these congresspeople have to do is tell people what they said to the president. That's literally all anybody's asking them to do. And that’s what they won’t do.