Four of former President Donald Trump’s top aides will not respond to subpoenas demanding either documents or testimony, according to The Guardian.
The Guardian’s report closely follows a CNN report from earlier Wednesday, which indicated that the House Select Committee on the January 6th Capitol riots, led by House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has so far been unable to physically serve a Congressional subpoena on Trump White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino.
It does appear that the three other Trump aides — Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, strategist Steve Bannon and defense department aide Kash Patel — being sought by the House committee have been physically served. CNN noted that all four have until midnight Thursday to comply with subpoenas requesting documents.” They have until October 15th to respond to a subpoena demanding a deposition.
“In their letter to Scavino, the committee outlines that because of his close proximity and long history of working with the former President, he can provide useful information regarding conversations Trump had on January 5 about trying to convince members of Congress to not certify the election, the former President’s movements on January 6, and the broader communication strategy the White House had in the lead up to the January 6 rally,” the outlet reported.
The Guardian reported, Wednesday, that all four “are expected to defy orders for documents and testimony related to 6 January, according to a source familiar with the matter.”
“The move to defy the subpoenas would mark the first major investigative hurdle faced by the select committee and threatens to touch off an extended legal battle,” the Guardian continued, suggesting that President Donald Trump may have pressed his former aides to avoid testifying or turning over documents because the president’s lawyers are concerned the subpoenas may undercut executive privilege.
“Trump and his legal team, led by the ex-Trump campaign lawyer Justin Clark the former deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin, are moving to instruct the attorneys for the subpoenaed aides to defy the orders,” The Guardian said. “The basis for Trump’s pressing aides to not cooperate is being mounted on grounds of executive privilege, the source said, over claims that sensitive conversations about what he knew in advance of plans to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory should remain secret.”
Republicans, though, have objected to the commission itself, generally, claiming that Pelosi’s decision to impanel a House select committee — and then refuse to seat Republican-appointed members, instead selecting her own Republican panelists — is evidence of a partisan inquiry, not an impartial investigation into the events that led up to the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.
If the four aides do refuse to comply with the subpoenas, the House committee, which has threatened action for non-compliance, will “face the key decision over how to enforce the orders – and whether they make a criminal referral to the justice department after the Thursday deadline for documents or next week’s crunch date for testimony.”
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