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Enforce the subpoenas

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Congress really needs to assert its authority in the 1/6 investigation:

The right wing in this country, particularly under Donald Trump, has pulled off a spectacular trick. It has persuaded many neutral observers that its chronic anti-democratic bad acting is a natural and inevitable background feature of our politics that is properly seen as beyond accountability, and that forbearance in response is the price for future democratic stability.

This is why the coming battle over Trump cronies who are likely to defy the Jan. 6 select committee’s subpoenas is so important. At stake is not just whether we’ll achieve basic accountability for a sustained effort to overturn U.S. democracy.

Also at stake is whether our system can uphold the rule of law in the face of a concerted campaign to cow good faith actors into accepting that the price of peace is special treatment that places bad actors above the law.

CNN reports that the select committee is likely to refer any Trump advisers and allies who defy subpoenas to the Justice Department for prosecution. As of now, one — Stephen K. Bannon — is not cooperating. What former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and political adviser Dan Scavino will do remains unclear.

If they have not indicated cooperation by the deposition deadlines of Oct. 14 and Oct. 15, the next step should be to refer the matter for Justice Department prosecution.

Given the crisis in American democracy the investigation couldn’t be more urgent, and if either Congress or the Biden administration fails to punish illegal evasions of the inquiry it’s a serious problem.

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