RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The January 6th House Select Committee is taking a month off from its public hearings, but its investigation will continue. This comes as the Department of Justice seems to be ramping up its own investigation.
Among those recently appearing before a federal grand jury is Marc Short, the then chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence.
“I think it is significant that we’re getting high level grand jury testimony. That means you have a serious thought that there were possibly violations of criminal law that are being established and now the Justice Department is trying to accumulate all of the facts,” said David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice with Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.
In his online publication, “Perilous Times,” Schanzer writes extensively about the erosion of democratic norms in the United States.
One of Schanzer’s viewpoints is that Trump campaign attorneys like Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and North Carolina native Sidney Powell are likely targets.
“The idea that the state’s would designate fake electors that would then be presented to the congress and then they were trying to get Vice President Pence to count those electors. That really does wreak of fraud,” he said.
Mike Pence did not go along with that plan.
“A conspiracy is an agreement among multiple people to break the law in some way. And so there were many people who were involved in this conspiracy, and they could all be targets of a criminal investigation. Understand a federal grand jury has much more power to compel testimony than a congressional committee,” said Schanzer.
Early in the investigation, former North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows handed over more than 2,300 text messages, which helped build a timeline of what happened before, during and after the events of January 6. But after being subpoenaed he’s refused to appear before the committee.
Steve Bannon has already been convicted of the same thing. But unlike Bannon, Meadows, who was Trump’s chief of staff, has not been charged.
That doesn’t mean he will escape a grand jury.
“He doesn’t have any of these defenses when he’s facing a federal grand jury subpoena,” Schanzer said. “I happen to believe that a president should have the ability to speak with the chief of staff candidly but if it’s about violations, knowing violations of federal law, those privileges are going to be overcome and he’s going to have to answer questions.”
These questions, Meadows has thus far escaped, but time will tell how much longer.