Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” that the subjects of the January 6 select committee who were uncooperative would be “quickly” referred for criminal prosecution.
Mitchell said, “Talk to me first about this deadline, criminal contempt citations against those that don’t comply?”
Schiff said, “Yes, we are deadly serious about getting to the bottom of everything that happened up to January 6th and thereafter. And if witnesses don’t appear when they’re supposed to, if they don’t produce the documents, we intend to move very quickly to have a vote in the House to hold them in criminal contempt, refer it to the Justice Department for prosecution.”
Mitchell said, “Isn’t that a very time-consuming process? We saw what happened with the original Trump witnesses and how you never even got to talk to some of them until it was long after the process.”
Schiff said, “The process of civil litigation is very lengthy. For Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, it took two years before we could get his deposition. But we don’t have the opportunity to do what we do now, which is hold people in criminal contempt refer them for prosecution. When Bill Barr was an attorney general, there was no way he would prosecute someone who was covering up for Donald Trump. He viewed the Justice Department as essentially Trump’s criminal defense firm. It’s different now, different attorney general, one that believes in the rule of law, so we intend to enforce these subpoenas.”
He added, “I think if someone thumbs their nose at the law, doesn’t comply, is prosecuted, it will be a powerful message to others that they darn well better comply. It’s a whole different ballgame when you are talking about criminal preceding.”
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