Jan. 6 Committee Member: 'Yes, We Will Pursue Criminal Contempt'

Jan. 6 Committee Member: 'Yes, We Will Pursue Criminal Contempt'

Mika Brzezinski asked what will happen to witnesses who ignore the Jan. 6 committee subpoenas.

“How will we get to hear from these people? How will the testimony be compelled?” she asked Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

“I know there’s a lot of chatter right now on Twitter and social media about how the committee isn’t going to enforce our subpoenas. Let me tell you very clearly, that is not true,” Murphy said.

“We intend to enforce our subpoenas, and the first step will be for us to pursue criminal contempt. What that means is that the committee will put together a report and refer it to the House floor. There will be a vote, then it goes to the Department of Justice. I fully expect this Department of Justice to uphold and enforce that subpoena. I think this Department of Justice believes that nobody is above the law.

“And we have to understand that the context of what we are pursuing, the information we are pursuing is so critical to our democracy and to the future of this country. We are a nation that depends on the peaceful transfer of power. when elections, no matter how contested they are, when those election results are delivered, that we accept those results and move forward.

“What we saw on January 6th was an attempt to use political violence to change the outcome of an election. I’m somebody who came from a country, Vietnam, where political violence was the method for political transitions. I, for one, will not stand by and see that happen here in this country, a country I love so much.”

“We saw too often during the last session of congress members of the trump administration just ignore congressional subpoenas. It really was shocking. It was as many they had no impact at all. Will it be the recommendation of you and other members of Congress, that if these congressional subpoenas are ignored, the Justice Department jail those who don’t comply?” Joe Scarborough asked.

“The consequences of criminal contempt are both fines as well as jail time. and my hope is that this Department of Justice will act on that. Because we have to demonstrate we are serious about these subpoenas. The people who evade subpoenas are going to face the full consequences of the law,” Murphy said.

“Would you recommend jail time?” Scarborough said.

“I would recommend the full extent of consequences. Jail time, fines. We need to make sure that these people understand that this is not acceptable,” she replied.

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