GOP Lawmakers Facing Serious Charges

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Could they be in serious trouble?

The select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot has left open all enforcement options, including criminal contempt, for those Republican lawmakers they’ve subpoenaed.

So far, the select committee has held former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former adviser Stephen Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to honor the committee’s formal request to testify.

A day after the committee subpoenaed the Republican lawmakers, top members of the investigative panel said the lawmakers wouldn’t receive any special treatment.

When asked about the consequences of non-compliance, Rep. Jamie Raskin replied, “Members of Congress are citizens of the United States, so it would be the same options that are available to us generally.”

But Raskin also signaled that sitting lawmakers could face worse than others who refused to comply with the subpoena.

Raskin noted that the committee has “all of the options that would be available to us” when dealing with other recalcitrant witnesses, like Bannon and Meadows, “and then additional options because they’re members of Congress.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the committee, said he hoped the lawmakers would change their minds and comply with the subpoena but added that the panel wouldn’t be ruling out any enforcement tools available to them if they refused.

“There are options. Obviously, we could make a referral to Ethics,” Thompson said, “We’ll discuss it. But look, all we’re saying is these are members of Congress who’ve taken an oath.”