As several former top aides in the Trump administration are reportedly preparing to reject subpoenas issued by the House select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, one Republican member of the panel, Rep Adam Kinzinger, is warning of criminal referral against members of Trump’s inner circle if they do not follow the committee’s instructions for testimony and the production of records.
“I mean, there is civil, there is criminal referrals that can happen if they refuse, refusing a subpoena from Congress is a crime. We aren’t out to try to hang this around anybody’s neck. We want answers,” Kinzinger told CNN in an interview.
“The problem is when you start seeing people resist, and people obfuscate, you have to look at that and go why are they doing that if they have nothing to hide? We have a lot of people coming and talking to us voluntarily. We’ll get to the bottom of it. We want to do it quickly, efficiently and thoroughly,” the Illinois congressman continued.
Kinzinger’s remarks came after reports that Trump aides are set to defy the committee include Dan Scavino, the president’s former social media manager, who has eluded the panel’s repeated attempts to physically serve him with a subpoena. According to CNN, he faces a deadline set by the committee on Thursday to comply.
Several Trump aides have already received subpoenas, including Kash Patel, a White House aide who was made chief of staff to the acting defense secretary after Mark Esper was fired by former President Donald Trump in the days following his 2020 defeat; and Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff.
Both Meadows, Patel, and others are reportedly set to reject the committee’s requests for information, a source familiar with their intentions told The Guardian; House members on the panel have said that they plan to investigate all available communications between members of Donald Trump’s inner circle in the hours and days leading up to the rally outside of the White House on 6 January.
Republicans have denounced the 6 January select panel as an attempt to embarrass their party ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Democrats have protested this accusation by noting that the GOP has so far stonewalled all attempts for Congress to undertake any investigation of the deadly attack on the building earlier this year, during which House and Senate members were forced to shelter in secure locations and several people were killed.
The two GOP members remaining on the panel have indicated that they plan to aid the committee’s efforts to fully probe the actions of the former president and his closest allies during and before the deadly attack on the Capitol. The Trump White House faces questions over the speed at which police and National Guard reinforcements were allowed to respond on 6 January as Capitol Police were overwhelmed by thousands of rioters.