This subpoena news doesn’t bode well for Donald Trump
Trump and his lawyers are running a victory lap because the House Select Committee withdrew its subpoena requiring his testimony. We know Trump is stupid, but apparently, his lawyers aren’t much better. The committee is disbanding; it’s subpoena power goes with that, but that’s not even the relevant part: The DOJ can issue subpoenas, and they probably already have one with Trump’s name on it. It will be interesting to see if he ignores that one.
Should the DOJ issue a subpoena to Trump, it won’t be so easy to ignore. The DOJ investigates crimes. It’s not a governmental committee, and it has way more power than the House Select Committee ever had. As Andrew Lieb explained to Newsweek, the DOJ has the authority to enforce any subpoenas it issues. All the clowns who fought testifying in the Georgia investigation won’t have such luxury if they are issued DOJ subpoenas, and neither will Donald Trump. He can ignore a DOJ subpoena all he likes, but they can simply go to the court with a contempt motion, which some courts would readily grant. Then what? Will he leave the country to avoid testifying? We wouldn’t be so lucky.
Newsweek also spoke with Olga Izmaylova, who is a criminal attorney. She believes that the withdrawal of the House subpoena does not bode well for Trump. Speaking with Newsweek, Izmaylova said: “My guess is that the January 6 committee likely withdrew their subpoenas because they know that the DOJ is getting ready to issue some of their own.” Keep in mind that bodies such as the House Select Committee cannot indict the people it subpoenas. As the committee showed, it compelled testimony to allow for legislative changes to flawed laws, and it accomplished that. The DOJ, on the other hand, is a criminal investigative body, and it can subpoena anyone it likes, when it likes. Its purpose is to bring criminal charges, and when it issues subpoenas, the subpoenaed party had better appear-or else.
Who knows what the DOJ has gleaned from the House Select Committee investigation? Based on the testimony from that body-and the people who defied subpoenas-the DOJ may well pick up the proverbial gauntlet and run with it. That includes Mark Meadows, who reportedly used to burn documents in a White House fireplace. All the DOJ needs is one witness who was close to Trump and who is willing to turn evidence to save his or her own skin, and it’s on. They are likely paying very close attention to Mark Meadows, among others.
The House Select Committee’s final report is compelling reading. It is based on hours of testimony, very little of which is beneficial to Donald Trump. Indeed, most of it buries him. The DOJ is likely going over that report with the proverbial fine tooth comb, and nothing prevents them from speaking directly with the committee members about the evidence they developed. Trump and his lawyers can run all the victory laps they want, but they won’t be running from the DOJ.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years