Trump’s Refusal to Testify Before Jan. 6 Panel Could Result in Contempt Charges

In line with tweets this week from the Home choose committee investigating the assault on the U.S. Capitol constructing on January 6, 2021, by a mob of Trump loyalists, it’s contemplating its subsequent strikes over the previous president’s refusal to seem earlier than them to offer testimony about his actions on that day and within the days main as much as it.

Final month, the committee unanimously voted to subpoena Trump to compel him to talk earlier than them and to supply a number of paperwork associated to their inquiry. Trump, who initially appeared open to the concept of offering an in-person deposition, sued the committee last week to block the subpoena order.

“Lengthy-held precedent and follow keep that separation of powers prohibits Congress from compelling a President to testify earlier than it,” Trump attorney David Warrington said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit, glossing over the plain level that Trump is now not a sitting president.

The January 6 committee had subpoenaed Trump in mid-October, asking him to seem earlier than the panel by November 14. On that day, the committee’s official Twitter account took word of his absence and the truth that his attorneys had made no efforts to coordinate a plan to have him testify.

“Former President Trump has refused to adjust to the Choose Committee’s subpoena requiring him to seem for a deposition. His attorneys have made no try to barter an look, and his lawsuit parades out most of the identical arguments that courts have rejected repeatedly,” the committee said in one of its tweets.

“Donald Trump orchestrated a scheme to overturn a presidential election and block the switch of energy,” the committee said in an accompanying tweet. “He’s obligated to supply solutions to the American folks.”

“The committee will consider subsequent steps within the litigation and relating to the previous President’s noncompliance,” the tweet added.

These “subsequent steps” could embrace having to resolve whether or not to carry Trump in contempt of Congress — a federal cost that may be levied upon people who refuse to answer questions from congressional committees, and which carries with it a potential penalty of one year of imprisonment.

The committee, if it decides to take that route, must vote in favor of doing so earlier than passing the query on to the total Home to think about. If the Home votes within the affirmative, it then turns into a query for the Division of Justice (DOJ) to resolve on.

The committee has forwarded contempt of Congress prices earlier than, regarding its inquiry. The DOJ has efficiently pursued prices towards former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, nevertheless it has refused to take motion on prices really helpful by the committee on different former Trump advisers, such as former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

If the DOJ pursued a contempt of Congress cost towards Trump, it might sign that the division is probably going pursuing different felony prices towards the previous president — together with potential indictments regarding his involvement within the Capitol assault in addition to his improper switch of presidency paperwork (a few of them extremely labeled) from the White Home to his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida following his departure from workplace.