A member of the House Jan. 6 Commission established to investigate the storming of the United States Capitol has called for the U.S. Marshals this week to round up former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and other former Trump officials who ignore subpoenas demanding they testify before the committee. The committee announced on Thursday they would hold Bannon in contempt.
“I would recommend the full extent of consequences — jail time, fines. We need to make sure that these people understand that this is not acceptable,” Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat, said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday.
“I know that we have engaged with a wide variety of law enforcement offices, including the U.S. Marshals, in order to issue the subpoenas and we will use everything — as you said, with all due respect — we will use all of the agencies and all of the tools at our disposal to issue the subpoenas and then enforce them,” she later added.
Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson released a statement on Thursday saying that the committee was moving forward to hold Bannon in contempt.
“Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President’s insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke,” Thompson’s statement said.
“We reject his position entirely. The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt. I’ve notified the Select Committee that we will convene for a business meeting Tuesday evening to vote on adopting a contempt report,” Thompson continued.
On Wednesday, Mr. Bannon’s lawyer wrote a letter to the commission explaining that his client will not testify or provide documents until an agreement is reached between the committee and Mr. Trump on executive privilege, or a court gives guidance on the situation.
“That is an issue between the committee and President Trump’s counsel and Mr. Bannon is not required to respond at this time,” attorney Robert Costello wrote, according to CNN.
Aside from Bannon, those who have been subpoenaed are Mark Meadows, former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff; former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino; and former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel.
Trump reportedly advised his former aides not to comply with the Congressional subpoenas. A letter reviewed by the New York Times from Trump’s lawyer requested that the aides refuse to provide testimony or documents concerning their “official” duties, and invoke all immunities they are entitled to by law.
Murphy had said she wants to know “how much planning was involved” in the January 6 protest, as well as who was involved, who provided funding and what the protesters intentions were that day.
“What we have to do is lay out the full set of facts and let the American people understand how perilous we were in that moment, how close our Democracy was to going over the cliff,” Murphy continued. “And to ensure that we can lay out the facts, figure out how to fix the situations, so that we don’t have anybody who tries to take the opportunity to try to undo a fair and free election.”