Former President Donald Trump has told former advisers of his who were subpoenaed by the January 6 select committee to defy the subpoenas, according to Betsy Woodruff Swan reported for POLITICO.
The former advisers include Mark Meadows, chief of staff at the time; Dan Scavino, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications and the White House director of social media at the time; Steve Bannon; and Kash Patel, chief of staff to then Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller.
As Swan reported, also noting that the outlet has seen a copy of the letter:
“But Trump is saying otherwise. In a letter that POLITICO viewed, a Trump lawyer tells them not to cooperate with the probe.
The letter stated the committee is seeking materials that are covered by executive privilege, as well as other privileges.
“President Trump is prepared to defend these fundamental privileges in court,” the letter said.
Then the letter directed its recipient to hold back any documents about his White House work and to refuse to testify about his official duties.
The letter kicks off the first major political and legal test for the select committee, which is probing Trump supporters’ violent attack on the Capitol. It’s unclear how the committee will try to enforce the subpoenas of the Trump-allied foursome, but members of the panel — which includes seven Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans — have said they may ask the Justice Department to prosecute witnesses who refuse to comply.
It also remains to be seen if the former Trump officials will follow Trump’s directions. If they are convicted of criminal contempt of Congress, they could face a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. ”
Trump’s directive comes after, for the third week in a row, the January 6 select committee has issued subpoenas. As was the case last week, the subpoenas are for organizers of events around that date. On Thursday, subpoenas went to Nathan Martin, Ali Alexander, and Stop the Steal LLC, with the two men appearing to be affiliated with the LLC, according to the committee.
A press release from the committee quotes a statement from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the committee’s chairman:
“The rally on the Capitol grounds on January 6th, like the rally near the White House that day, immediately preceded the violent attack on the seat of our democracy. Over the course of that day, demonstrations escalated to violence and protestors became rioters. The Select Committee needs to understand all the details about the events that came before the attack, including who was involved in planning and funding them. We expect these witnesses to cooperate fully with our probe.”
This is an excerpt from Townhall.
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