Kinzinger says Trump ‘not off limits’ for 6 January committee subpoenas

Former president could be panel’s next target, GOP member warns

John Bowden
Wednesday 20 October 2021 19:41
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Kinzinger says Trump could be a subpoena target for Jan 6 committee

The committee investigating the riot at the US Capitol on 6 January could set its sights next on former President Donald Trump himself as Mr Trump calls on his former aides to try and stonewall the committee’s demands for information.

A GOP member of the committee, Rep Adam Kinzinger, told MSNBC on Wednesday that he doesn’t know whether Mr Trump himself will be the target of a subpoena from the panel, which can refer individuals to the Justice Department for prosecution if they do not comply.

But he added that the former president was “not off limits” or protected by executive privilege, as he and his defenders have claimed.

“I think that we can get to all the information we need without him, but I think we’re certainly willing to do it,” he said of subpoenaing the former president for testimony or documents.

“That’s something I want to make clear, is, he’s not off limits,” Mr Kinzinger said.

The former president has directed aides including Stephen Bannon, Mark Meadows and others to challenge the subpoenas issued by the panel, which his allies have claimed is a political witch hunt begun by the Democrats to humiliate the former president over the events of 6 January.

At least some of the president’s former aides are said to be complying with the committee’s requests, according to statements from the panel, though Mr Bannon as recently as Wednesday dismissed the panel’s authority as supposedly nonexistent.

If an individual does not comply with a congressional subpoena, they can face a contempt of congress charge; such a crime is considered a felony, and can result in jail time and fines. The 6 January committee unanimously recommended such a charge for Mr Bannon on Tuesday; the decision now heads to the Justice Department.

“The Select Committee will use every tool at its disposal to get the information it seeks, and witnesses who try to stonewall the Select Committee will not succeed. All witnesses are required to provide the information they possess so the Committee can get to the facts. We’re grateful to the many individuals who are voluntarily participating and to witnesses who are complying with subpoenas, including several who met the deadline to begin producing materials to the Select Committee. We’re moving ahead quickly to get answers for the American people about what happened on January 6th and help secure the future of American democracy,” said the panel’s chair, Rep Bennie Thompson, in a lengthy statement on Tuesday announcing Mr Bannon’s non-participation.

Republicans loyal to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (and by extension the former president) withdrew from the panel in protest earlier this year, but the Democrat-led panel has persisted with the participation of Mr Kinzinger and its vice chair, former GOP conference leader Rep Liz Cheney.

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