The House Select Committee on the January 6th Insurrection is just getting off the ground. As part of their investigative process they have begun to issue subpoenas to associates of Donald Trump who aided and abetted the deadly riots that took place in Washington, D.C.
The first wave of subpoenas were doled out to Trump insiders including his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, White House aides Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel, and whatever the hell Steve Bannon is (Bannon just joined the crusade of crackpots who think that Trump will be reinstated in “2022 or maybe before”). To date they have all refused to comply with the subpoenas on orders from Trump.
Not only is that indicative of a consciousness of guilt, it constitutes obstruction of justice on Trump’s part. He is invoking “executive privilege” as his justification, despite the fact that he isn’t an “executive” and doesn’t have any such power. What’s more, even the President can’t invoke executive privilege to cover up the commission of crime.
In response to the unlawful evasion of the subpoenas, the Lincoln Project’s Rick Wilson posted a video to express his concern as to whether the Congress will hold the Trump insurrectionists accountable. And he wasn’t shy about his feelings on the subject (warning: video NSFW):
“I am hearing from multiple people now that the subpoenas are not going to be enforced. That the Commission is basically going to slow roll the entire thing. And that they are not going to take it seriously. If you don’t enforce the subpoenas, hang it up now. Just declare Trump president again and tell Steve Bannon he can be the emperor of the f**king right-wing universe and let it all go.”
Wilson dropped a number of other rousing rhetorical bombs in the video. such as…
“These are criminals who tried to overthrow the United States government.”
“These people came to murder you. They would have dragged you out into the street and stomped you to death. And if you don’t punish them and investigate them and bring them to justice, they’ll do it again. A coup attempt that is not punished is a training exercise.”
“Do not treat this like something that’s just a delay so you can go back to talking about the infrastructure bill and healthcare. Are you insane?”
Since Wilson didn’t say from whom he was hearing this talk of not enforcing the subpoenas, it’s hard to gauge just how seriously to take his warnings. But if nothing else, it is something that Congress – and especially the members of the Committee – need to hear. And it is something that the American people need to take to heart. They are the best potential influencers of indolent legislators.
On the plus side, the Committee is saying the right things. Friday morning it was reported that the “panel will consider criminal contempt of Congress referral over Trump aides subpoena defiance: ‘We will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena.'” Last month President Biden said through his Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, that he would not abide Trump and the GOP as they “fomented an insurrection.” And the White House has formally blocked Trump’s bogus attempt to claim executive privilege.
We’ll soon see just how committed they are to that course of action. But if they fail to follow through, it will rest with patriotic citizens to make it clear that we will not be satisfied with anything less than the unreserved pursuit of justice and the enactment of punishment where appropriate.
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