WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump intends to assert executive privilege in a congressional investigation into January 6, a move that could prevent the testimony of onetime aides.
The letter went to at least some witnesses who were subpoenaed by the House committee and it makes clear that Trump plans to invoke privileges meant to protect presidential communications from being shared with Congress.
The committee, which was formed over the summer, last month issued subpoenas to Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff; Dan Scavino, the former deputy chief of staff for communications; Kash Patel, a former Defense Department official; and Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser.
Patel said in a statement that he will “continue to tell the American people the truth about January 6.”
Committee members plan to move swiftly to obtain testimony and documents should any witnesses refuse to cooperate. Adam Schiff tweeted that if Trump associates do not comply, “they can be subject to criminal contempt.”
However, charging the Trump associates with contempt would still be a lengthy process, including votes of the full House and potential court proceedings.
The committee chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said subpoenas had gone to Ali Abdul Akbar, also known as Ali Alexander, and Nathan Martin, as well the organization “ Stop the Steal, ” to learn more about a rally that was planned on the Capitol grounds at the same time as the larger gathering on the National Mall.
According to the committee, Alexander released a statement after the riot linking “Stop the Steal” to the Capitol rally permit and explaining that the intention was to direct attendees of the larger rally to march to the Capitol.