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Rep. Adam Schiff

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

John Eastman, the far-right lawyer who authored Trump's "coup memo," announced on Friday that he would be defying a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee.

Appearing on CNN later in the day, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) made clear that Eastman is free to plead the Fifth if he has a good-faith reason to fear he could incriminate himself — but that doesn't entitle him to a free pass to ignore investigators.

"Eastman says the partisan makeup of the committee, he says makes it invalid and doesn't need to cooperate," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What do you say to that?"

"Well, that was a frivolous argument," said Schiff. "If he uses that as a basis to refuse to answer questions, he will be in contempt of the committee, simple and straightforward. So we'll be seeing with each witness... whether they're properly invoking a privilege or to stall and delay for the former president, and will make the judgment as to what the repercussions should be once we see and hear the testimony.

"This comes after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was indicted on contempt charges for ignoring the committee, and as former DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark faces an upcoming contempt vote by Congress.


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