Republicans Slapped With Criminal Contempt?

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Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

This cannot be happening.

GOP lawmakers have been subpoenaed by the congressional panel investigating the Capitol Riot. Currently, GOP lawmakers have refused to cooperate in the investigation.

So far, two former Trump administration officials, former adviser Stephen Bannon and former chief of staff Mark Meadows have already been held in contempt.

The five House Republicans called by the investigative panel include Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other lawmakers.

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“Members of Congress are citizens of the United States, so it would be the same options that are available to us generally,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a former professor of constitutional law, said. 

Regarding the question of whether criminal contempt is one of the options, Raskin said that lawmakers can face similar disciplinary measures to other witnesses. 

“We have all of the options that would be available to us or someone like Steve Bannon or Mark Meadows,” he said, “and then additional options because they’re members of Congress.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the select committee, said “There are options. Obviously, we could make a referral to Ethics.” In reference to the House Ethics Committee, he added, “We’ll discuss it. But look, all we’re saying is these are members of Congress who’ve taken an oath.”

Thompson, along with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), announced the subpoenas targeting the following five lawmakers, Reps. McCarthy, Jim Jordan (Ohio), Scott Perry (Pa.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), and Mo Brooks (Ala.). So far, all five have refused to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

“There are some things that we found out that either need clarification on their part, or we’re left with … what our investigation has shown us,” Thompson said. “They are an integral part of that investigation, as far as I’m concerned.”

GOP members have retained that the investigation is a political exercise meant to damage Trump and as such, they are justified in not participating. 

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