The White House, the DOJ, and Press Secretary Jen Psaki are in a flurry of “damage control mode” as President Biden publicly decried that those who defy January 6 committee subpoenas, like Steve Bannon, should “be prosecuted.”
The inflammatory remarks by the president come as the January 6 select commission is ramping up issuing subpoenas for former President Trump administration officials and others who may have information on Trump’s efforts to investigate claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Biden told reporters in a South Lawn gaggle outside of Air Force One, “I hope the committee goes after them and holds them accountable.” He was referring to individuals who refuse to comply with a congressional subpoena.
One reporter followed up, “Should they be prosecuted?”
“I do, yes,” responded Biden.
DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley responded with a terse statement in response to Biden.
“The Department of Justice will make its own independent decisions in all prosecutions based solely on the facts and the law. Period. Full stop” said Coley.
In addition, Psaki attempted to spin Biden’s statement on Twitter, stating that the president supports the “independent role” of DOJ’s prosecutorial decisions.
Former President Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark was subpoenaed by the commission earlier this week for testimony and documents.
In addition, former Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen reportedly sat down for an interview with the commission on Wednesday.
“Probably best @POTUS leave this to the AG,” former President Obama adviser David Axelrod also tweeted, referring to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The special congressional committee charged with investigating the January 6 insurrection gave former Trump White House officials Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, and Dan Scavino until the end of last week to comply with its subpoenas for testimony and records. Bannon has so far refused to cooperate.
Since that deadline has now passed, what will be the Dems next move is anyone’s guess. However, during this week, it is expected that the committee will vote on whether to refer Bannon to the Justice Department for potential criminal prosecution.