On Monday, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) explained his inherent contempt bill that would fine Trump and his cronies $100,000 if they defy a congressional subpoena.
Video of Rep. Lieu:
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) says that the House can pass inherent contempt legislation that doesn't need a Senate vote, and they will take action if the DOJ doesn't prosecute Steve Bannon. pic.twitter.com/P0CklX0AzO
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) October 25, 2021
Rep. Lieu told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace on Deadline: White House, “I hope the Department of Justice prosecutes Steve Bannon with this referral of the criminal contempt. My fear is that Steve Bannon will simply litigate this, appeal to it the Supreme Court and two years later we will get a decision and he could run the clock out. That’s why I have introduced legislation that allows the House of Representatives to execute what’s called inherent contempt. We could fine witnesses up to $100,000 for disobeying subpoenas. Then we will see how Steve Bannon would like being fined $100,000.”
When asked if he has the support to pass the bill, Rep. Lieu answered, “I believe I do. It has been co-authored by numerous members of Congress already. I also note this does not need a Senate vote. It is simply a change to house rules. So we could execute it quite quickly. “
The House Needs A Backup Plan If The DOJ Doesn’t Prosecute.
Notice that Lieu’s bill does not require a Senate vote because it doesn’t involve locking Trump cronies up in the Capitol jail. It would require a Senate vote to detain those found in contempt, and a Senate vote simply isn’t going to happen.
It would be nice if the fine in Rep. Lieu’s bill was even higher. Steve Bannon has money. He may not care about a $100,000 fine. A million-dollar fine would get anybody’s attention.
Rep. Lieu’s bill has some teeth in it, and it would be a fine backup plan if Merrick Garland’s DOJ drops the ball on prosecuting Steve Bannon.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association