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Schiff Warns Trump Cronies: Comply With 1/6 Subpoenas Or Else

Rep. Adam Schiff warned Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Kash Patel and Dan Scavino that they will be prosecuted if they don’t show up and testify in front of the January 6th Committee this week.

Patel and Bannon are due to testify before the committee Thursday and Meadows and Scavino on Friday. It is unclear if any of them will comply.

But the January 6th Committee members are not up for any GOP games. Rep. Adam Schiff told Nicolle Wallace Wednesday that the committee will move to hold in criminal contempt anyone who doesn’t appear and will then refer the matter to the Justice Department. “Our expectation is they will be prosecuted,” he added.

Then Schiff let the Trumpers know that there’s a new sheriff in town, one who upholds the law with everyone.

SCHIFF: I think part of the reason why some of these witnesses feel they can thumb their nose at Congress and at the power of the subpoena is for four years that’s exactly what they did. And they had an attorney general in Bill Barr who would not enforce the subpoenas because anyone covering up for the president was doing Bill Barr and the president’s work and they were not about to hold them accountable. But that is a very different situation than today. Today, we have an attorney general that respects the rule of law, who upholds the principle no one is above the law, and we expect those subpoenas to be enforced and enforced with prosecution.

Greg Sargent explained why this is so important in an excellent column. The Trump right-wing has engaged in “a concerted campaign to cow good faith actors” into accepting illegal behavior as “the price for for future democratic stability,” Sargent wrote. He cited as an example the House GOP leadership openly threatening retribution against telecoms and social media companies that honor the Jan. 6 committee’s subpoenas.

This sort of thing also games our discourse. It ends up portraying efforts at accountability as themselves representing disruptive norm-violations. This effectively reduces GOP bad faith and bad acting to a natural background feature of our politics, and recasts acting against it, or even efforts at communicating basic truths about it, as the real departure from normality.

Sargent also pointed to the DOJ’s role in this. Previously, “senior department officials have indicated a reluctance to be perceived as acting politically by re-litigating past battles over Trump, seeing this as a threat to the restoration of normalcy,” Sargent wrote.

Fortunately, Schiff’s comments send a strong message to the DOJ as well.

This is part of our continuing coverage of the 2020 elections.

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