January 6 Committee Hits Wall As Republicans Refuse To Cooperate

US Politics
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Damir Mujezinovic

The nation was shocked when a group of then-President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the United States Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Law enforcement agencies have arrested dozens of individuals who were involved in the attack on the Capitol, while Congress -- which is controlled by the Democratic Party -- has focused on investigating pro-Trump lawmakers.

But the House committee to investigate the January 6 attack has had little success, with Republicans refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

Exploring All Options

According to a new report from CNN, Democrats are looking into new ways to force Republicans to cooperate with their investigations.

Members of the committee reportedly aren't completely sure if they even have the authority to subpoena Republican House members. In fact, they are still waiting for guidance from their counsel, according to Democratic Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson.

"Well we are exploring it. And based off a meeting we will have later this week we will have an answer," Thompson said.

US Politics

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Democrats Hit A Wall

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The committee has already asked several Republican lawmakers to voluntarily provide information regarding the January 6 attacks on the Capitol.

Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Jim Jordan of Ohio have received letters from the body, but both made it clear that they do not intend to cooperate.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has received a similar letter as well, but he dismissed it and described the panel as "illegitimate." according to The Hill.

"As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward," McCarthy said in a statement.

Legal Challenges

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So how will the committee deal with the legal challenges its facing? Members aren't sure.

"It's a question we'll talk about if we get to that step," Rep. Pete Aguilar of California said.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said that members "have not had any conversation about that" yet, but noted he believes the panel has the legal authority to subpoena lawmakers.

Rasking said that "the Congress, according to the Supreme Court has the power to subpoena anyone in order to pursue a legitimate investigative purpose, which this obviously is."

What If Republicans Don't Comply?

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Even if the January 6 committee subpoenas Republicans, what if they simply refuse to comply? Former House general counsel Thomas Spulak said that "this is uncharted waters."

"Will the committee have the political will to vote a member in contempt? Will the leadership bring a contempt resolution to the floor and have the full house vote on it in order to send it to the Department of Justice? There's a lot of questions there in ultimately, you know, how it plays out," he explained.

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