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Bannon’s indictment does little to revive January 6 committee talks on subpoena with primary targets


A Jan. 6 panel member said he does not expect Trump’s main allies to cooperate anytime soon.

“I think if it wasn’t the [Trump] lawsuit, they would invent something else or some other dispute to hang on to, ”said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), one of the nine members of the committee. “So we don’t put a lot of stock behind that. “

The panel has has landed around 200 interviews to date, some in response to subpoenas. Jan.6 panel member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) Said Bannon’s indictment had already shaken some cooperation from Trump’s older allies.

“I think it certainly had an impact on the willingness of people to cooperate, on the willingness of people to obey the law,” he said. “Certainly there are others who I think have been encouraged to cooperate seeing that the path of obstruction can lead to jail.”

Schiff said a conviction of Bannon would help underline this threat, but that the “deepest impact” of the accusation of contempt of Trump’s former chief strategist has already occurred. .

But securing cooperation from Meadows, Scavino and other high-level Trump aides in the White House may be impossible given investigators’ tight schedule as he strives to complete work ahead of the 2022 election. challenge of the January 6 panel is compounded by the fact that it is cited a large number of other senior Trump administration officials to appear in court since then, adding to its workload.

Here is the state of talks between the committee and its first and largest subpoena targets:

Dan Scavino: The former president’s social media manager has been the quietest of the group. His lawyer, former House counsel Stan Brand, has said little about the case. For a while, the committee couldn’t even track down Scavino to serve a subpoena on him.

Scavino is one of the small group of people who were with Trump from day one of his campaign to his last day in the White House. And while Scavino is active on Twitter and Instagram, he eschews mainstream media interviews.

Scavino has yet to provide any documents or testimony to the Jan.6 committee, allowing it to continue to float under the radar as lawmakers incite public anger in Meadows.

Mark Meadows: As Trump’s White House chief of staff on the day of the attack, Meadows has detailed knowledge of how the president observed violence. His claim for executive privilege is considered the strongest of any subpoena to date. Despite this, White House Biden said the president would not exercise privilege on Trump’s behalf to protect Meadows from a deposition. Federal courts are now hearing arguments over whether the former president can assert that privilege, given that Biden waived it. And most pundits believe Trump’s outlook in this litigation looks grim.

Meanwhile, Meadows and his lawyer have negotiated with the committee to find a way to share certain information without violating the privilege Trump wants to claim. George Terwilliger, Meadows’ lawyer, wrote in November 13 Washington post editorial that he engaged in “weeks of fruitless negotiations” in an attempt to find a compromise. He wrote that Meadows had offered to answer written questions if the select panel withdrew their subpoena, but the committee would not be playing ball. “[T]The only avenue for resolution can be through the courts, ”Terwilliger concluded.

The chairman of the Jan. 6 panel, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Said he did not believe Terwilliger’s editorial and that the offer of written responses was part of the formal negotiation process.

“An editorial does not hold water in our committee. I mean I haven’t even seen it, ”he said in a brief interview last week.

And November 12, Thompson and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Vice chair of the panel, said they were considering despising Meadows.

Kash Patel: Patel, a prominent former Republican staff member on the House Intelligence Committee, had the former president’s ear at crucial points in his tenure. Trump gave Patel increasingly important roles in the final year of his tenure, ending with a leadership position at the Pentagon.

In a statement from October 8, committee leadership said Patel and Meadows were “engaging” with investigators. Although the tone of lawmakers on Meadows has changed dramatically, they have not publicly addressed any criticism of Patel.

In a Nov. 15 interview with Megyn Kelly, Patel said the committee abandoned congressional standards when he was subpoenaed.

“The Jan. 6 committee issued vendetta subpoenas,” he said. “They didn’t call me, my lawyers, or email. We have all conducted congressional inquiries. There is a right way to do it, and there is a political way to do it. They went straight to the summons and said, “You know what it’s going to do; Kash is going to have to quit his mission and spend $ 150,000 on lawyers.

He continued that he had “nothing to hide” about that day.

“I will tell the truth to the American people all day on January 6, especially the DOD involvement,” Patel said last week.

But he also stung Schiff, who fought often with his former boss, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) During the Congressional inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“We used the facts. They used politics, ”Patel said of Democrats. “They’re using politics again to demand feud citations, because that’s how petty they are.”

Kelly asked Patel if he would testify if the Supreme Court ruled against Trump. He replied, “I will follow the law.”

Contacted for comment on this story, a spokesperson for Patel declined to elaborate on the status of his discussions with the panel.

“We continue to engage in good faith and hope the committee will do the same,” Patel spokesperson said. “We are also disappointed by the Committee’s flagrant violation of our agreement to keep our ongoing discussions confidential.”

Steve Bannon: Bannon surrendered to federal authorities last week to face two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, which are currently pending before Judge Carl Nichols. Appointed by Trump who has been tough on the January 6 defendants, Nichols has refused to back Bannon’s push for a months-long ramp-up towards a potential trial. But the judge also hesitated at pressure from the Justice Department to stall on the accelerator pedal.

The parties will meet again in the case in early December to establish a clearer timetable. Even if Bannon is convicted, it is not mandatory that he submit to testimony or hand over documents. Yet a conviction would signal to other witnesses that there could be real consequences for blocking the selection panel.

“Steve has always done things Steve’s way,” Patel told Kelly of Bannon. “And I think everyone knew he was going to do it that way.”

And after: Monday’s subpoenas bundle targeting the president’s outside boosters shows that the Jan.6 committee hasn’t even finished sending out subpoenas – let alone enforcing them. But hanging over the whole affair is the reality that even Congress’ most aggressive enforcement tool has yet to push Bannon to request a deposition.

It might not work on Meadows or Scavino either.

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