Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-MS next to Rep. Liz Cheney, R-WY, and flanked by other members of Congress,speaks to the media following testimony during the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol adjourned their first hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. - The committee heard testimony from members of the US Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department who tried to protect the Capitol against insurrectionists on January 6, 2021. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

When is the House select committee going to enforce subpoenas?

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Trump’s longtime aide and former golf caddie Dan Scavino was finally served with his subpoena on Friday—at Mar-a-Lago, no less. 

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is “engaging with the Select Committee,” and Kash Patel, who served in various roles in the administration, said Friday he “responded to the subpoena in a timely manner.” (It’s not clear what “responded” means here.)

In a statement Friday, Reps. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney, the chair and vice-chair of the committee, said they “will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral.”

The clock is ticking on anything that could be considered “swift.” If the committee wants anyone, from targets to observers, to believe that it is serious about getting this information, the criminal referral for Bannon needs to come, well, swiftly. Without further delay. Rapidly.

Suppose Bannon openly defies the committee and doesn’t face criminal charges in short order. Why wouldn’t Meadows and Patel believe they can continue “engaging” to string the committee along and run out the clock? Scavino ducked the subpoena for weeks, so they know he’s defiant, and he telegraphed where his loyalties lie by finally being located at Mar-a-Lago—which means any further sign of delay or resistance from him should be met quickly and forcefully. And there are more people stacked up behind them who have gotten subpoenas from the committee, all of whom need to know that Thompson and Cheney and the rest of the committee mean business.

Put it to you this way: If there’s not a criminal referral for Bannon within a day or so, I won’t believe the committee is serious about getting Team Trump to comply. Why would Bannon take them any more seriously?

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