Jan 6 Committee subpoenas... aren't they cut and dried?

Congresional committee issues a subpoena and the person doesn’t show up. The committee and congress vote to refer to the DOJ. From there, it seems it should be simple.

  1. Is it legal for the subpoena to be issued? Yes.
  2. Did the person show up? No.
  3. Therefore, the person should be charged.

Why is the DOJ dragging their feet?

It seems the most oft cited reason is the subpoenaed person claims to be covered by executive privilege and is thus immune from talking about these things.

Congress sends it to the DoJ and no matter who the president is they do not want to set a precedent that they and their people can be dragged in on subpoenas in the future. So they drag their heels until everyone forgets and it goes away.

Of all the norms that have been trampled on in Washington in the last 25 years the one that you do not prosecute the previous administration seems to still hold. Once one admin goes after the previous admin the reasoning is every admin will go after the previous admin for political reasons.

Of course, this is more guess than firm answer. Nowhere is this written down or admitted to.

Laws that only apply to government officials usually have limited or non-existent means of enforcement. It’s a system of unprofessional courtesy, the very people who are sworn to defend the law of the land are free to violate it themselves without consequence.

You pretty much provided the correct answer in your second post, but I’ll add something: Merrick Garland has proven to be a bit of a disappointment as Attorney General. He is so . . . slow. I’m sure it was his judicial temperament that appealed to Biden after the shitshow of Bill Barr, and I’m all for exercising due deliberation. But an Attorney General needs to be at the forefront of advancing the Administration’s positions on enforcing federal laws and defending civil rights. Garland was conspicuously absent from the conversation when Republican states were tearing up voting rights protections last year.

You can’t assert executive privilege in an attempt to cover up the commission of potential crimes. Trump’s henchmen are not immune, and they have no privilege to assert. The exception may be Mark Meadows, and I believe that’s the reason Garland hasn’t issued a contempt citation for him. However, the five under subpoena (McCarthy, Biggs, et. al) weren’t members of Trump’s administration and have no privilege to assert.

You’re correct that it’s a first for a congressional committee to issue subpoenas for their own members. But you might agree that it’s likewise unprecedented for congressional members to violate their oaths of office and actively work with a corrupt president to engineer a coup to wrest an election from a superseding duly elected president.

The subpoenas are valid. The Republican members who were subpoenaed know this. You will find nowhere that they say they will not comply, despite vehement protestations that the committee is “illegitimate”. They may not comply, but if they choose to ignore lawfully-issued congressional subpoenas, they can expect Democrats to do the same if Republicans ever re-take power in the congress. Republicans will, themselves, have rendered such subpoenas meaningless.

Merrick Garland was tasked with undertaking one of the largest investigations in the history of the DOJ, one into an attack on our institutions that has never happened before and that has far-reaching implications for all future elections and presidencies. Its tentacles extend into the Congress and deep within one of the major parties in this country. Garland is doing it with a sabotaged DOJ and FBI, badly understaffed from the day he took office – which was also delayed by Republicans until March of 2021, because they wouldn’t complete his confirmation. Trump did his best to hollow out those agencies in the 4 years he controlled things. Did pretty well, too.

To date, Garland has run a by-the-book RICO style prosecution: Start from the bottom and work your way up. First the little fish, the flag wavers, the no-hopers who shat and pissed in the People’s House. Now he’s on to the lower ranking organizers, the Oathkeepers, Proud Boys and that crowd. Some of those have agreed to plea arrangements and will cooperate with law enforcement for the bigger fish.

Soon the flames will lick at the feet of the likes of Roger Stone, John Eastman, Michael Flynn and the rest of the inner circle.

All the under-oath testimony obtained by the January 6th Committee from ones such as Jared, Ivanka and John Jr. will be passed along to DOJ and may prove extremely useful in prosecuting to the top.

Even if McCarthy, Biggs, Jordan, Perry and Brooks all fail to comply with their subpoenas, the committee already knows the content of the calls made to Trump through other avenues (testimony of staffers, etc.). All of this will be useful to DOJ in prosecuting to the top.

There’s no hurry. The rule that applies to not prosecuting people who are running for election won’t apply to Trump for quite awhile. He’s not running in any contest in 2022. Why give Republicans time to consolidate behind a new candidate for 2024? Why stop Trump from sucking all the money away from Republican coffers?

I say let Merrick Garland take his time to take aim at Trump. There are good reasons to wait.

I saw Robert Mueller take his time and I waited and it turned out to be a huge disappointment because Mueller believed you cannot indict a president. And it flowed down from there and was mostly a big Nothing Burger.

So, I have lost faith in the process.

Hard disagree. When the GOP retakes the House they will throw every monkey wrench they have into every set of gears they can find, and the January 6 investigations will disappear.

But that doesn’t for a minute excuse your attendance. You have to show up and assert the privilege if they ask a question that you think infringes on the privilege. Not showing up at all is contempt, pure and simple.

Mueller’s testimony sort of finesses what I understand actually happened. He was told by Rod Rosenstein that his (Mueller’s) investigation would be constrained in that way by the OLC memo. Since it was long-held DOJ policy, I doubt Mueller disagreed. He was also told by Rosenstein that if Mueller’s investigation went into Trump’s personal finances, it would be shut down.

Merrick Garland is the new Bill Barr, not the new Robert Mueller. He’s not constraining his teams in any way, so far as I know. And Biden is no Trump. He’s not interfering with Garland’s investigations, not trying to stop them in every way imaginable, not directing Garland to fire his best people at the FBI and all the rest.

Nor is Biden trying to hurry them along. Again, look at the scope of this investigation. It’s massive. They take a lot of time, even under the best of circumstances and with cooperative witnesses.

The two situations are not analogous. But you’re far from the only person who feels as you do, so I guess Trump’s efforts to undermine faith in our institutions was pretty successful.

This is true, but I don’t happen to agree with the conventional wisdom that the GOP is going to retake the House. And even if they do, the committee’s work will be done by then. Garland’s won’t, and the GOP House (if that’s what happens) can’t really do much about it.

Unfortunately, I think there is a timetable, that being the election this fall.

It is possible that the results of the investigation will influence the election, but much bigger, the results of the election may influence the investigation.

When Republican congressional majorities are seated next term, do you really think they will allow the Garland’s work to continue?

If that happens – and I think it’s a bigger “if” than many others – what can they specifically do to stop it?

Specifically? I’m not a lawyer, jurist, or congresscritter, so it’s hard to nail down specifically what acts they would take, but I certainly don’t underestimate their abilities in such a regard. They will certainly have motivation, and they are seated at the levers of power.

But, let’s say, off the top of my head, as part of the next omnibus spending package, they add an amendment defunding the investigations into 1/6 or other aspects of the previous administration. Biden can then choose to veto it, but in doing so, shut down the government.

How long will the Democrats hold out in that game of chicken?

The Jan 6 committee really doesn’t matter. Its results will be declared a witch hunt by the right wing chorus. What matters is what DOJ is doing. This is a huge fucking deal and it takes however long it takes. I trust that Garland is a man of integrity and seeks justice, I just hope it’s done by 2024 because if Putin’s stooge retakes the White House, there’s going to be an evidence bonfire as 12:01 pm Jan 20, 2025.

I agree they will do all they can. I just think they’re not going to be able to do as much as they may hope. If they take away narrow majorities in either/both House/Senate, it’s not a lot to work with in terms of getting your legislation through. I know you’re aware of how frustrated Biden’s agenda items have been – even with a majority.

We’ve never been in a situation where norms are routinely ignored and actively sabotaged by one of the country’s major parties. Hence the reason for this thread. It’s not a question in normal times that should even be asked.

I’d be willing to bet that Garland is much further along in his investigations than is generally known. He may not yet have convened grand juries to consider the evidence to indict those at the top, but he likely already has most of the evidence he needs to do so. Convening the grand juries to indict Trump, Eastman, et. al are among the last steps in the process.

The committee will hold its televised hearings in less than a month and render its final report ahead of the 2022 election, with or without the testimony of these corrupt congressmen. I believe Garland will move more swiftly as soon as these things are done.

Meantime, Republicans are tearing themselves to pieces between electing MAGA candidates and McConnell candidates. Long may they self-destruct.

I doubt they will have any qualms about nuking the filibuster. Biden had only the barest majority, and really not even that.

They certainly will at that.

The only question is is how far the collateral damage reaches.

They won’t. And since Biden is stuck with Manchin, Dems can’t do it preemptively.

We are in trouble as a country, no question.

I do smile a little when I think about something I recently read or heard: That McConnell doesn’t even know at this point where to put money from his huge super PAC. He doesn’t know whether to back the candidates he wants, or the Trumpy ones that may win their primaries. This is setting them back time wise in campaign engagement.

Democrats should take full advantage.

ETA: We are far afield from the topic for this thread. If we want to continue the conversation, we should move elsewhere.

Is he really? Seems to me he’s been derelict in his duty.

What work?

I’m seeing no evidence this is the case.

I think we’re at the point where this thread should be split so as to not hijack from the OP’s original question. Any thoughts on a new title for the discussion about Garland’s investigations and the conclusion of the January 6th committee’s work?

I’m reasonably sure that Barr authorized the indictment of more people directly associated with Trump than Garland has, so you might want to question how much it was a shit show versus someone in a very hard position, being pushed to break the law every day by his boss, and mostly rising above it.