Legal threats are flying and tensions are mounting as members of Congress investigating the Capitol uprising encounter resistance.
US Congressmen investigating the Capitol uprising have threatened to prosecute Donald Trump’s former chief of staff for criminal outrage for his refusal to comply with a subpoena, sparking a legal war against the inner circle of the United States. former president
Mark Meadows, the fourth and final White House chief of staff during Trump’s tenure, was sued by the Congressional committee investigating the uprising in September. He bluntly refused to cooperate.
“Mr. Meadows remains under former President Trump’s instructions to abide by longstanding principles of executive privilege. It now appears that the courts will have to resolve this conflict,” his attorney said Thursday, US time.
Trump attempted to claim the executive privilege of keeping documents and testimony about his actions secret prior to and during the January 6 uprising. Till now, the courts rejected his efforts, as well as the current White House.
On Tuesday, the congressional committee sued former Trump press officer Kayleigh McEnany, political adviser Stephen Miller, former White House Director of Personnel John McEntee, former Deputy Chief of Staff Chrisopher Liddell, the former personal assistant Nicholas Luna and Mr. Meadows, among others.
“The select committee wants to know every detail of what happened in the White House on January 6 and in the days preceding it,” said panel chairman, Democrat Bennie Thompson at the time.
“We need to know precisely what role the former president and his aides played in efforts to stop the electoral vote count and whether they were in contact with anyone outside the White House attempting to overturn the election outcome.
“We believe the witnesses quoted today have relevant information and we expect them to fully comply with the Select Committee’s investigation as we work to get answers for the American people, make recommendations on changes to the law to protect our democracy, and help ensure that nothing like if January 6 never happens again “.
Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former political adviser it has already been despised for refusing to comply with a previous subpoena. The US Department of Justice now has to decide whether or not to try him.
President Joe Biden won last year’s presidential election by a margin of 306 to 232 electoral votes. Trump’s attempts to challenge his defeat through the courts, claiming it was tainted with widespread election fraud, he went nowhere.
On January 6, when a joint session of Congress met to certify Biden’s victory, a crowd of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the vote count.
Trump’s actions during the violence remain shrouded in mystery. We know that he was in the White House during the assault and that at one point he called a Republican senator to pressure him to vote against the certification of the electoral outcome. Beyond that, it is unclear what the president was doing for hours and whether he attempted to crack down on the violence.
It took him until 4:17 pm, more than three hours after the attack began, to publicly ask his supporters to leave the Capitol.
“I know your pain. I know you are hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a crushing election and everyone knows it, especially on the other side. But now you have to go home,” Trump said. in a video message.
“Go home. We love you, you are very special … I know how you feel. But go home and come home in peace.”
The president’s behavior on January 6 is at the center of the Congressional investigation, which is examining both the uprising itself and the previous weeks.
Last night, in a letter to Meadows attorneys, Thompson made it clear that the committee was running out of patience with the intransigence of former Trump employees.
He attached a letter from the current office of the White House adviser rejecting Trump’s claims about executive privilege.
“The law requires that Mr. Meadows comply with the summons in the absence of an enforceable immunity or a valid claim of a constitution-based privilege,” wrote Thompson.
“The attached letter from the White House Council office, dated today, debunks any plausible claim of witness immunity or executive privilege and obliges you to comply with the subpoena from the Select Committee.”
Issuing a clear ultimatum, he said Congress would pursue criminal outrage charges against Meadows unless he showed up for a deposition Friday, local time, less than 24 hours later.
“The select committee will consider Meadows’ inability to appear at the deposition and obtain reactive documents or a register of privileges indicating the specific basis for withholding any documents believed to be protected by privilege, as an intentional non-compliance,” he said. said the chairman of the committee.
“Such willful non-compliance with the subpoena would force the select committee to consider invoking contempt of Congressional procedures, which could result in a referral from the House of Representatives to the Department of Justice on criminal charges.”
Trump, for his part, has repeatedly denounced the committee’s investigation as a politically motivated witch hunt. In a statement this week, he said the real uprising took place on election day November 3, 2020.
“The Unselect Committee of Politically Ambitious Hackers continues to sue people who want to know those who protested the January 6 uprising that took place during the November 3 presidential election,” he said.
More than a year after the defeat, the former president continues to believe – contrary to all evidence – that he has won the elections.
In May, Republicans in the Senate have blocked the creation of a completely bipartisan and independent commission to investigate on January 6. That commission would be made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.
Unable to proceed with that idea, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi instead created the select committee in its current form, with seven Democratic and two Republican members.
Both Republicans, representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, had previously voted to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the riot. Both participate in the investigation against the wishes of their party leadership.
“We are facing a threat we have never faced before: a former president who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional republic, aided by political leaders who have volunteered to be hostages of this dangerous and irrational man,” Cheney said. in a speech this week.
He hinted at Trump’s remarks at a recent fundraising dinner.
“He reportedly stated, once again, that the uprising took place on November 3 and that the events of January 6 – when a violent mob invaded the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the will of the American people – that those events they were a “protest”. They were justified, “he said.
“Political leaders who remain silent in the face of these false and dangerous claims are helping a former president who is at war with the rule of law and the Constitution.
“When our constitutional order is threatened, as it is now, rising above bias is not just an aspiration, it is an obligation.
“I am a conservative Republican. I disagree at all with almost everything President Biden has done since his in office. His policies are bad for this country.
“I love my party. I love his story, I love his principles. But I love my country more “.
Originally published as Donald Trump: Commission investigation of January 6 threatens former White House chief of staff