Senator Liz Cheney warned Trump aides that if they ignore subpoenas issued by the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6th, the panel “will move” criminal contempt charges against them.
Cheney (R-WY), one of only two GOP members serving on the committee, said the entire panel is in agreement with the move.
“In general, people are going to have to appear, or, you know, we will move contempt charges against them,” she told reporters at the U.S. Capitol.
The committee investigating the event surrounding the Capitol riot issued subpoenas to four former aides to President Donald Trump in late September.
Those receiving subpoenas for documents and testimony include former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, former communications official Dan Scavino, and former Defense Department official Kash Patel.
“In general, people are going to have to appear, or, you know, we will move contempt charges against them” https://t.co/9vxumf4F61
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) October 13, 2021
Liz Cheney Threatens Contempt Charges For Trump Aides
Liz Cheney’s threat of criminal contempt charges for any Trump aides who defy the committee’s subpoenas echo comments previously made by other panel members.
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Committee member Adam Schiff (D-CA) previously warned that any of the Trump allies who do not comply with the subpoenas will be guilty of “criminal contempt.”
On Sunday, Schiff said the panel was “prepared to go forward and urge the Justice Department to criminally prosecute anyone who does not do their lawful duty.”
The committee also singled out Bannon for criminal contempt if he doesn’t appear for a deposition slated for Thursday.
Rep. Adam Schiff said the Jan. 6 investigative panel is prepared to seek criminal prosecution against former Trump aides — who have been told to invoke executive privilege by the former president — if they refuse to comply with subpoenas. https://t.co/oKnxUIEfs1
— Axios (@axios) October 10, 2021
A report surfaced earlier this month claiming all four of the Trump aides were prepared to ignore or openly defy the subpoenas issued by the January 6 committee.
The former President’s aides, supposedly at Trump’s direction, were said to be prepared to defy the subpoenas based on executive privilege grounds.
“We will fight the subpoenas on executive privilege and other grounds, for the good of our Country,” Trump wrote in a statement.
SCOOP: Source tells me Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and top aides Scavino, Bannon and Patel are set to defy Jan. 6 committee subpoenas — under instructions from Trump. @GuardianUS https://t.co/a8hQtm5zJ0
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) October 6, 2021
Cheney: We’ll Be Prepared
Mark Meadows and Kash Patel are scheduled to have their depositions later this week and Cheney says the committee will be prepared.
“We’ll see if they show up. If they show up, we’ll be prepared,” she said.
“The line that can’t be crossed is what happened after the  election,” says Congresswoman Liz Cheney about her decision to speak openly against Donald Trump, whom she had supported during his 2016 campaign and throughout almost all of his presidency. https://t.co/UXqR98Fcc3 pic.twitter.com/2ao3QlhyxJ
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 26, 2021
Legal experts have openly wondered whether or not the Biden Justice Department would get involved if those subpoenaed ignore the orders to provide documents or depositions.
Former federal prosecutor Mark Osler questioned how any action by the DOJ would be perceived as Biden has vowed to eliminate politics from the department.
“That’s going to be something that will be considered at the highest levels at DOJ, and what they’re going to consider with any referral like that is how strong of a case is it, and even if it’s readily provable — how important is it that we do this?” he speculated.
Every single sycophant who defies a January 6 congressional subpoena must be held in criminal contempt.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) October 9, 2021
Cheney, serving as one of two ‘Never Trump’ Republicans on the committee, said she’s been privately encouraged by colleagues to keep attacking President Trump and his supporters.
The Wyoming Republican is facing a primary challenge from Harriet Hageman, an attorney who received an endorsement from Trump in her bid to replace who he called a “warmonger and disloyal Republican, Liz Cheney.”
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