Schiff: Jan. 6 committee mulling subpoenas, testimony from riot participants
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack may quickly move to subpoena some documents and seek testimony from some extremist group leaders who participated in the riot, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters Monday.
“We have already had discussions about the need to subpoena documents and the sense of urgency we have. Normally we would request voluntary compliance. We may move quickly to subpoenas when it comes to documents so that we ensure that they’re preserved, and that there’s no delay.”
Schiff’s comments underscore how House Democrats are banking on the Justice Department to help enforce any subpoenas issued by the select committee as they push forward with an investigation that has been largely boycotted by Republicans.
“Over the last few years, the Justice Department obviously was not willing to enforce any congressional subpoenas. And that was the result of having one of the President’s chief enablers as the attorney general in Bill Barr. So it’s a different situation now obviously,” said Schiff, one of eight Democrats on the committee.
The committee is scheduled to hold its first hearing Tuesday, when they expect to hear from four officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack.
Schiff on Monday said the committee may try to hear from riot participants, adding lawmakers are hopeful that Justice Department plea agreements signed by some members of the Oathkeepers and Proud Boys will require them to cooperate with the select committee.
The Justice Department has been involved with more than 20 plea agreements stemming from the attack on the Capitol, some signed by members of the Oathkeepers.
“It’s my hope that this is one of the reasons we want to have an open line of communication with the Department of Justice, that if there are people within these organizations who are cooperating, that have cooperation agreements with the department, that those agreements will include cooperation with our committee. Because some of those who participated in the attacks in the organization would be important sources of information,” he said in reference to members of the Oathkeepers and Proud Boys.
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