Committee investigating Jan. 6 pushes for details from White House aides

Oct 12, 2021, 1:25 PM
Jan. 6, US Capitol...
A man walks near the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, as security fencing is removed on Sept. 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

The investigation into Jan. 6 has ramped up in recent days, with subpoenas getting sent out for some of former President Donald Trump’s closest aides. But they are defying them so far, as KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross points out.

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Dave asked David Fahrenthold, a reporter at the Washington Post and weekly guest of Seattle’s Morning News, whether or not Steve Bannon, for example, can say that what he told Trump is executive privilege and therefore he does not have to testify.

“[That’s] certainly what he is saying,” Fahrenthold said. “The question is whether that’s a fight that he can actually win.”

“The Democrats, I hope, after this many years of dealing with Trump and his people, didn’t really believe that they were just going to come in and spill their guts,” he added.

Now, the Democrats and Rep. Liz Cheney, who is the Republican co-chair of the Jan. 6 committee, are talking about criminal contempt charges for defying these subpoenas, Fahrenthold explained.

“Meaning that they would refer these people to the DOJ for prosecution for defying Congress,” he said.

“I don’t know if that’s actually going to happen,” he clarified. “But they at least seem to be talking about that now. And, honestly, I think that’s the kind of thing that would be necessary to make any of these people testify.”

Just what exactly are they hoping to discover from their testimony?

“I think what they’re after is Trump’s role on that day, on Jan. 6,” Fahrenthold said. “Who did he talk to? What did he say? Who talked to him? But also, what role did these people play in bringing the the groups to D.C. I mean, in some ways, Trump’s role is not that much of a mystery. He did it in public. We saw him do it. But the degree to which people like Bannon, who has his own audience and channels of communication, helped organize actually getting the people here, I think that’s something they’re trying to learn.”

As Dave noted, it’s not a crime to just organize a rally.

“Right,” Fahrenthold agreed. “And I guess they want to know did they know it was going to turn violent, did they know the real purpose was to storm the Capitol?”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Committee investigating Jan. 6 pushes for details from White House aides