Schiff calls DOJ’s decision not to indict 2 Trump aides ‘deeply disturbing’

washington — Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a member of the House special committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, strongly criticized a Justice Department decision two top helpers not to pursue to former President Donald Trump for defying subpoenas from Congress and calling the move “deeply disturbing.”

In an interview with Face the Nation on Sunday, Schiff said it was “puzzling” that the Justice Department declined to indict former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino because they refused to cooperate with the investigators of the house. but did Charges against former White House adviser Peter Navarro and Trump ally Steve Bannon.

“There is no such thing as absolute immunity. These witnesses have very relevant testimonies to give as to what went into the January 6 violence, the spreading of the big lie,” Schiff said. “The idea that witnesses simply could not appear, and when the law requires the Department of Justice to bring these cases to the grand jury, they do not, is deeply disturbing.”

Schiff said the select committee hopes to learn more from the Justice Department regarding Meadows and Scavino, but said it’s a “grave disappointment and could hamper our work if other witnesses think they could also refuse to appear with impunity.”

Meadows, Scavino, Navarro and Bannon have all been subpoenaed to appear before House investigators as part of the inquiry into the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack, although all four declined subpoenas to testify. As a result of her decision not to cooperate, the entire house voted to hold all four in criminal contempt of the congress.

While Navarro and Bannon flatly refused to cooperate with the select committee, Meadows and Scavino negotiated with counsel for the committee. grasslands over 9,000 pages turned emails and text messages to the panel before ceasing to cooperate.

Schiff said the two aides, who worked closely with Trump and were involved in his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, are able to testify before the committee without “plausible claim” to executive privileges because they were both involved in campaign matters and have records , which they could turn over to the investigators.

“None of that is protected by privilege, and the idea that you can just refuse to show up, instead of showing up and saying, ‘As for this question, I’m going to exercise a privilege,’ that just invites others to be there Disregard for Congress or disregard for judges across the country, in other courtrooms, and I think it’s a very dangerous precedent,” he warned.

Nearly a year after its investigation into the events of January 6 and Trump’s efforts to thwart the presidential transfer of power by claiming that the 2002 election was riddled with voter fraud, the Special Committee is ready to present its findings to the American people, beginning with a public hearing in prime time on Thursday.

The panel said during the proceedings that it would “use previously unreleased material to document the 6th presidential election of 2020 and prevent the transition of power.”

This week’s hearing will be the first of several, and Schiff said the aim of the committee members is to “present the narrative of what happened in this country, how close we came to losing our democracy, what to that violent attack on the 6th. “

“I think the Americans already know a lot. You’ve already seen a number of bombs. There’s a lot they haven’t seen,” he said. “But perhaps most importantly, the public has failed to see how one thing led to another, how one line of effort to overthrow the election led to another and ultimately led to horrific violence, the first non-peaceful transfer of power in our history .”

While he would not comment on specific witnesses who will testify before committee members, namely Marc Short, former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, Schiff said one of the “issues” the panel is investigating is the fact that there is an understanding of it admit violence on January 6 amid the involvement of far-right groups and the continued propagation of the so-called “big lie” – that the 2020 election was stolen by Trump – to anger the former president’s supporters.

The New York Times reported first and CBS News confirmed that the day before the Jan. 6 attack, Short warned the Secret Service that there could be a potential threat to the Vice President.

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