Washington – The House of Representatives on Thursday protested a longtime aide and aide to former President Donald Trump’s aide Steve Bannon, after opposing a summons to a commission to investigate violent parliamentary turmoil on January 6. We are voting to insult the Congress. .
The Committee resolved to take swift and powerful steps to punish those who did not cooperate with the investigation. However, it is for the Justice Department and the courts to decide what happens next.
As expected, if the House of Representatives vote is successful, there is still considerable uncertainty as to whether the Justice Department will prosecute Bannon despite Democratic demands for action.
The results can determine not only the effectiveness of a House investigation, but also the strength of Congress to call witnesses and request information. Prosecutors, historically reluctant to use witnesses against witnesses found in contempt of Congress, are investigating the worst attacks on the US Capitol in the second century. is extraordinary.
Panel Democratic Chairman Benny Thompson, along with Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the commission to emphasize the unity of the commission to hold Bannon accountable. Lead the discussion on the bill. Bipartisan on the floor of the house.
Still, despite the potential consequences for the institution, most House Republicans are expected to vote against the derogation.
“The general public is making fun of these subpoenas when Congress is unable to oversee,” said Stephen Salzberg, a George Washington University law professor and a former Justice Department official. Salzburg considers “one of the most non-partisan people I know, then does not sanction prosecution,” he would allow the Constitution. I think that. “In danger. And it is very important for him to complete it.”
The Democratic Party is pressing justice to file a proceeding, claiming it is nothing but democracy.
Maryland MP Jamie Ruskin, a member of the panel, said: “Under Article 1 the US Congress has the power to investigate to inform deliberation of future legislative methods. This is about it.”
Nevertheless, no suit has been filed. Assuming his post in the post-turbulent Trump era, Garland made it a priority to restore the “ideal” of the department. On the first day he told the prosecutor that he should focus on equal justice and not feel pressured to defend the president’s allies or attack his enemies. He reiterated that political considerations should not play a role in any decision.
And when President Joe Biden suggested to reporters last week that Bannon should be prosecuted for libel, his agent pushed back.
“The Department of Justice will make its own independent decision in all charges based solely on facts and law. Period. Garland spokesman Anthony Corey said Friday in response to the president’s comments.
6 panel voted Tuesday night to recommend contempt charges against Bannon, noting that he had spoken to Trump before the riots fueled the day’s protests and predicted He would be worried. was cited. Members said Bannon was the only one who completely opposed the summons, with at least 12 other witnesses speaking to the panel.
Assuming that a full House vote was held on Thursday to insult Bannon, the issue would be referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington. In that case, it is up to the prosecutor in office to file a case with the grand jury regarding the possibility of criminal charge. The office is run by Channing Phillips, an American lawyer who previously ran the Obama administration. Another lawyer, Matt Graves, has been nominated for the position, but his nomination is pending in the Senate.
“If the House of Representatives pleads guilty to criminal offense, the Justice Department, like all criminal referrals, will assess the case based on facts and law in accordance with federal prosecution principles,” said spokesman Bill Miller. I am For the US Public Prosecutor’s Office in Washington.
The Justice Department has traditionally been wary of prosecuting parliamentary insults, especially if there are opposing political parties at the White House and House of Representatives. During the Obama administration, the ministry declined to prosecute then-Attorney General Eric Holder and former IRS employee Lois Lerner after receiving abusive referrals from a Republican-led home. And George W. Bush’s Justice Department declined to prosecute Harriet Myers after a former White House adviser ignored summons for the mass dismissal of US lawyers.
In addition, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel included opinions from the 1980s that included Anne Gorsuch, the mother of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who, as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, refused to submit documents. , stated in several votes. Even if referred by the House of Representatives, the Justice Department has the discretion to prosecute for contempt.
Still, Bannon’s proceedings are different because the Democratic Party has both Congress and the White House. The commission broke into the Capitol and suspended evidence of Biden’s victory as it investigated the violent riots of Trump supporters who beat up law enforcement officers.
“What we’re talking about is a massive and violent attack on American democracy,” Ruskin said.
Even if the department decides to prosecute, the case could take years to resolve — leading up to the 2022 elections, where Republicans can gain control of the House of Representatives and end the investigation. Huh. Chances are.
And if they don’t prosecute, the House will probably find another way. House-sanctioned civil proceedings can take years, but Bannon and other witnesses are forced to defend themselves in court.
Another option available to Congress is to attempt to imprison rebel witnesses. This is an unlikely, if not cynical, scenario. This process, called “implicit humiliation”, was used in the country’s early days, but has not been adopted for nearly a century.
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