Schiff: Jan. 6 Panel ‘Going Straight to Subpoenas’ If Witnesses Won’t Cooperate

Schiff: Jan. 6 Panel 'Going Straight to Subpoenas' If Witnesses Won't Cooperate adam schiff speaks during one of the impeachment inquiries against former president donald trump Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. (Susan Walsh/AP)

By Fran Beyer | Tuesday, 21 September 2021 01:59 PM

The House Jan. 6 Select Committee is primed to issue subpoenas to people it expects will not willingly cooperate, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., declared Tuesday.

Schiff, who is chair of the House Intelligence Committee, revealed the strategy to reporters, with Politico noting it represents a sharp break from previous practices in House probes.

"In some cases, we're making requests we think will be complied with," Schiff said. "In other cases, we're going straight to subpoenas where we think we're dealing with recalcitrant witnesses."

Politico noted during the impeachment of former President Donald Trump in 2019, committees gave potential witnesses weeks to voluntarily comply before issuing subpoenas.

But Schiff said the speed up merely acknowledges the short timeline the Jan. 6 panel faces to try to unearth details about the White House's role.

The committee is going to "forgo some of the time-consuming steps" that have dogged previous probes, Schiff told reporters, Politico reported, adding, compared with the 9/11 Commission two decades ago, the Jan. 6 panel is moving with "great rapidity."

"And where we do meet resistance, we intend to push back hard and fast," Schiff said, Politico reported.

Schiff said he is hopeful the Biden administration will help things along by not fighting efforts to hold witnesses in contempt if they refuse to cooperate — and that it will not claim executive privilege when it comes to White House documents from that time, Politico reported.

He added committee members are already getting new information — and expects new details to "mushroom" in the coming weeks, Politico reported.

Politico noted one boost already is cooperation from the House Oversight Committee, whose chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., has said transcripts of closed-door interviews with former Trump administration officials have been turned over.

"We are working with them. We always work with everybody," she said, Politico reported.

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