Now that a second batch of subpoenas has gone out from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, many are wondering what will happen to those who refuse to obey a subpoena and don’t appear to give testimony as instructed.
According to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chairman of the committee, anyone who doesn’t obey a subpoena deadline will be referred to the Justice Department for criminal charges.
Thompson made his remarks Friday during while speaking to members of the press according to Politico, telling them:
“The committee will probably for those who don’t agree to come in voluntarily, we’ll do criminal referrals and let that process work out.”
The chairman added that the committee had already begun the process of interviewing those who have volunteered to cooperate with the investigation. He also noted that more subpoenas would be coming out soon.
Thompson’s plan to go the route of criminal referrals, Politico adds, shows just how serious the panel is taking their investigation:
Thompson’s threat to issue criminal referrals to recalcitrant witnesses underscores the select committee’s resolve to seek quick answers from people inside Trump’s orbit. The panel has subpoenaed former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and longtime Trump aide Dan Scavino, as well as Trump-world figures Kash Patel and Steve Bannon. All four are due to provide documents to the committee by Oct. 7 and appear for testimony the following week.
On Wednesday, the committee also issued 11 subpoenas to people involved in organizing rallies ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Those subpoenas require documents to arrive by Oct. 13 and depositions to begin Oct. 21.
The Jan. 6 committee may also offer limited immunity to witnesses who are fearful of revealing potentially incriminating information as part of the ongoing investigation of the riots and insurrection which left five people dead, including a member of the Capitol Police.
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