Schiff said this week that the Justice Department is open to criminally pursuing former Trump officials who don’t respond to the committee’s subpoenas.
“So far what we’ve seen from the Biden administration has been very encouraging,” he said, according to Axios. “Certainly there will be some who will not be cooperating with us, and I’m not referring to the current administration, but members of the past administration. We have to anticipate that.
“So that is a concern,” he added. “But we may have additional tools now that we didn’t before, including a Justice Department that may be willing to pursue criminal contempt when people deliberately flout compulsory process.”
Democrats on the partisan Jan. 6 committee have subpoenaed multiple former Trump officials, including former White House strategist Steve Bannon, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former social media director Dan Scavino, and former chief of staff to Trump’s defense secretary, Kash Patel.
Former president Donald Trump responded to the subpoenas vowing to fight them by invoking executive privilege.
“Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of my Administration and the Patriots who worked beside me, but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation,” Trump said in a statement.
The Biden administration has pushed back on Trump’s claims to executive privilege, saying the White House remains committed to a thorough investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“The President is deeply committed to ensuring that something like that can never happen again and he supports a thorough investigation into what occurred,” White House spokesman Michael Gwin said.