Feature image – The Library of Congress
When he doesn’t show, Congress Should Use Contempt x 2
by Glenn Kirschner, …with Justice Matters
Update: 6:28pm EST: The head of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack announced Thursday that he has scheduled a vote to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.
The select committee will vote Tuesday on a report making the case that Bannon is in criminal contempt of Congress, according to its chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). That document will include language for a contempt resolution that could come to the House floor in the coming days.
[ Editor’s Note: One of the things l like about Kirschner is his ability to weigh in on the major political dramas of the day via his 30 years of prosecuting criminal cases, including highly complex RICO cases in the DC Court system.
Today he is posing what no one else has, and probably will not. He knows that Bannon will contest his subpoena and fight it through the courts, which typically will run years to resolve.
This set up seems to have been constructed by criminal attorneys so they can run cases out for years for their financial benefit.
So Glenn is posing a wiser, dual strategy; ‘yes’ to proceeding with the Dept. of Justice criminal referral to get that process started, but also having Congress use its arrest powers to bring Bannon in to one of the four Capitol building jail cells, to hold him and potentially three more people there.
The statutory authority to do this is already in place and would curtail Bannon’s podcasts where he can smile and go on and on how he beat the system and fire up the Trumpers even more.
The flip side of this is if the Select committee lets Bannon make fools of them, they will have deeply wounded the public confidence in their having the balls to fight the Trump machine if they do not use Congress’ inherent enforcement powers.
I am already concerned about why Biden gave the archives people 30 days to find the documents, giving the Dems lots of time to oppose that in court.
The document list has been with the Archives for some time, leading me to believe that when Biden asked for them, they would be ready to be turned over and beat the Insurrectionists to the punch in their delaying actions.
What is the deal with the committee dribbling these subpoenas out over time, which pushes the dates further out on finding out if they will be contested? We are almost a year away from the 2022 elections where the House and maybe even the Senate could be in Republican hands, and where the investigation would be over… Jim W. Dean ]
First aired … October 13, 2021
Steve Bannon has indicated that he intends to defy the congressional subpoena directing him to appear for testimony on October 14. Members of Congress have said they “will” refer him to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. That is an import step toward accountability for his crime of contempt of congress.
BUT – Congress should also use its inherent power of contempt to compel Bannon’s testimony in real time.
This video explores the novel concept of Congress using a legal “belt-and-suspenders” approach to enforcing its subpoenas: both referring Bannon for prosecution to punish him for his crime AND simultaneously using its inherent power of contempt to obtain the testimony the select committee needs to make progress in its investigation into the insurrection.