OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who is also a member of the Select Committee on Jan. 6, hinted on Sunday that there could be criminal charges coming in the next few days at a former top official in President Donald Trump’s administration.
Schiff, during an appearance on CNN, teased the possibility that the panel could seek charges against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the committee to compel testimony.
“I think we will probably make a decision this week on our course of conduct with that particular witness [Mark Meadows] and maybe others,” Schiff said during a TV appearance on CNN’s “State of The Union” on Sunday.
House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff said the Jan. 6 select committee will “probably make a decision this week” about referring former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for criminal contempt charges after he defied a subpoena. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/jE7WOTQunM
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 28, 2021
“We are moving with alacrity with anyone who obstructs the committee, and that was certainly the case with Mr. Bannon, and it will be the case with Mr. Meadows and Mr. Clark or any others,” Schiff continued.
His comments come on the heels of criminal charges against former top Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who turned himself in to federal authorities and appeared in court earlier this month after he defied a Jan. 6 committee subpoena, claiming executive privilege.
Newsweek notes further:
Trump’s former advisor, Steve Bannon, was indicted on November 12 for refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena after he refused to appear for a deposition concerning the insurrection [Editor’s Note: We refer to the incident at the Capitol as a riot; no one has been charged with anything related to an ‘insurrection.’]. He was also indicted for refusing to produce documents for the committee.
Bannon and Meadows were among the ex-Trump officials called by the committee to testify along with former Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino Jr. and former Pentagon Chief of Staff Kash Patel.
Schiff previously criticized former Trump officials, including Meadows and Bannon, for rejecting subpoenas and acting as if “they’re above the law.”
“Bannon did what he did because for four years, that’s what would work. They could hold Republican Party conventions on the White House grounds, they could fire inspector generals, they could retaliate against whistleblowers,” Schiff said earlier this month during an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
Schiff also said that the panel will “soon” hold public hearings so Americans could learn more about the committee’s processes and findings, but he did not give a specific date.
The January 6 committee is currently looking into the full role of former president Donald Trump on the day of the Capitol attack, according to the congressman.
Schiff said that some of the questions the committee is trying to answer revolve around whether the former president knew in advance about plans of violence on January 6 and how it was funded. The committee is also investigating whether the attack was “essentially the backup plan for the failed litigation around the country” after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election.
“We are now trying to expose the full facts of the former president’s misconduct as well as those around him,” Schiff said. “It is certainly possible that what we reveal in our investigation will inform the Justice Department of other facts that they may not be aware of yet.”
Trump has instructed his former staffers to claim executive privilege while he files suit to uphold the claim and the case makes its way through federal courts.
The former president has also blasted the Jan. 6 committee as another “witch hunt” as well.
“The Leftist select committee has further exposed itself as a partisan sham and waste of taxpayer dollars with a request that’s timed to distract Americans from historic and global catastrophes brought on by the failures of Joe Biden and the Democrats,” Trump wrote in August.
“Unfortunately, this partisan exercise is being performed at the expense of long-standing legal principles of privilege. Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of my Administration and the Patriots who worked beside me but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation,” he said.
“These Democrats only have one tired trick—political theater—and their latest request only reinforces that pathetic reality,” he added.