Donald Trump To Invoke Executive Privilege In January 6 House Probe

By Bill Galluccio

October 7, 2021

Former President Trump Holds Rally In Perry, Georgia
Photo: Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump intends to invoke executive privilege to prevent witnesses from testifying in front of a House select committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

The committee subpoenaed former social media czar Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kash Patel, former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and former White House adviser Steve Bannon as part of the investigation. The four men were ordered to turn over documents related to the events on January 6 and make themselves available for interviews with investigators.

Lawyers representing Trump sent each man a letter, instructing them not to comply with the subpoenas. The letters said that the committee was seeking materials that were protected by executive privilege.

"President Trump is prepared to defend these fundamental privileges in court," Trump's lawyers wrote, according to Politico.

It is unknown if the men will comply with subpoenas. However, if they refuse, they could be charged with criminal contempt of Congress. If convicted, they could face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

It is unclear if Trump's attempt to assert executive privilege will work. Because he is no longer president, that decision is not up to him. Any determination on what falls under executive privilege would be made by President Joe Biden. While the White House previously said they would not invoke executive privilege to protect Trump from the House investigation, the administration has since softened its stance, saying it would review matters on a "case-by-case" basis.

"Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of President Trump and his administration, but also on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our nation," Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich said in a statement.

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