Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) told MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” Wednesday that the Jan. 6 select committee subjects who were not cooperative would “quickly” be referred for criminal prosecution.
Mitchell said, “Tell me first about that timeframe, the criminal contempt citations against those who don’t comply?”
Schiff said: “Yes, we are very serious about everything that happened up to January 6 and after. And if the witnesses don’t appear when they’re supposed to, if they don’t produce the documents, we intend to move very quickly to have a vote in the House to hold them for criminal contempt, send it to the court. Department of Justice for prosecution. “
Mitchell said, “Isn’t that a very time consuming process? We saw what happened with Trump’s first witnesses and how you never even got to speak to some of them until it was long after the process.
Schiff said: “The civil litigation process is very long. For Don McGahn, the former White House lawyer, it took two years before we could get his testimony. But we don’t have the ability to do what we’re doing now, which is to hold people in criminal contempt and remove them for prosecution. When Bill Barr was Attorney General, he had no way of prosecuting someone who covered up Donald Trump. He viewed the Justice Department as essentially Trump’s criminal defense firm. It’s different now, different attorney general, who believes in the rule of law, so we intend to apply these subpoenas. “
He added, “I think if someone laughs at the law, doesn’t comply, gets sued, it will be a powerful message to others that they better comply. It’s a whole different ball game when you talk about a criminal history.
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