As you may have heard, pardoned felon and Hair Füror’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon has declared that he will not appear before the January 6 Insurrection Commission today. And maybe, Maybe, MAYBE the commission is gonna play hardball!
(CNN)Trump ally Steve Bannon’s game of chicken with the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill riot is on the cusp of entering a new and critical phase Thursday as he faces his last chance to reverse course and comply with the panel’s subpoena before lawmakers likely move to seek criminal charges...
If Bannon is a no-show, the committee is expected to immediately begin seeking a referral for criminal contempt after the subpoena deadline passes — essentially making an example of Bannon’s noncompliance as the House seeks more witnesses, sources familiar with the planning told CNN….
“We are completely of one mind that if people refuse to respond to questions without justification that we will hold them in criminal contempt and refer them to the Justice Department,” Rep. Adam Schiff told the WaPo.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie:
Today, the Jan. 6 committee could find itself hitting the same roadblocks. STEVE BANNON and KASH PATEL have been subpoenaed for questioning today, and MARK MEADOWS and DAN SCAVINO are slated for Friday. Trump has asked them not to cooperate, claiming executive privilege bars their participation — an assertion Democrats call bogus.
CRIMINAL CONTEMPT IS NO SILVER BULLET: Members of the panel have been talking this week about referring non-compliant witnesses to DOJ for criminal prosecution. Unlike during the Trump years, they now have allies in a Justice Department run by Democrats — at least in theory. Often when it comes to oversight, presidents protect their predecessors.
A.G. MERRICK GARLAND, however, has shown a willingness to assist Hill investigators on this particular issue, including by ensuring privilege is waived for top DOJ officials to testify about the pressure they faced from Trump.
It’s unclear whether Garland will go along with the panel’s plan to pursue criminal contempt. But even if he does, the cases could drag out in court for months, inching up to the midterm elections — fraught timing for both parties.
Which puts the whole damn thing in hapless and ineffective AG Garland’s lap where it will die of old age before he acts.