WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. House Representative Adam Schiff said on Sunday that the committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot would likely decide this week whether to refer former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for criminal contempt charges for refusing to testify.
“I think we will probably make a decision this week on our course of conduct with that particular witness and maybe others,” Schiff said on CNN, referring to Meadows.
“I can’t get into what communications that we’re having or haven’t had with particular witnesses but we are moving with alacrity with anyone who obstructs the committee,” said Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Jan. 6 panel. “And that was certainly the case with Mr. Bannon, and it will certainly be the case with Mr. Meadows and Mr. (former Justice Department official Jeffrey) Clark or any others.”
Former U.S. President Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury earlier this month, the first to be criminally charged for defying a subpoena issued by a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.
Bannon is one of more than 30 people close to the former Republican president who have been ordered by the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to testify about what happened in the run-up to Jan. 6, when thousands of people stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to overturn Trump’s election defeat.
House investigators hope the action against Bannon will motivate other witnesses, such as Meadows, to testify.
Bannon has refused, citing Trump’s insistence – already rejected by one judge – that he has a right to keep the requested material confidential under a legal doctrine called executive privilege.
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Mark Porter)