Contempt call for Capitol inquiry no shows

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Investigators into the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol will move criminal contempt charges against those who do not comply with its subpoenas, Liz Cheney, the panel's vice chair, says.

The committee late last month subpoenaed four members of former president Donald Trump's administration.

They were Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows, along with his White House adviser Steve Bannon, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino and Defence Department official Kash Patel.

The committee has already threatened criminal contempt charges against Bannon for refusing to co-operate with the inquiry into the attack, in which a mob of Trump's supporters stormed the seat of the US government.

Those subpoenaed will have the opportunity to co-operate, but if they do not the committee will enforce its subpoenas, Cheney told reporters at the US Capitol.

Republican Cheney leads the committee along with its chairman, Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson.

"In general, people are going to have to appear, or we will move contempt charges against them," Cheney said, adding the entire committee was in agreement on that point.

Cheney said the committee expected to have depositions from Meadows and Patel later this week.

"We'll see if they show up. If they show up, we'll be prepared," she said.

The riot took place as Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden's election victory, delaying that process for several hours as then-vice president Mike Pence, members of Congress, staff and journalists fled.

More than 600 people face criminal charges stemming from the event.

House Democrats formed the committee over objections from Trump's fellow Republicans in the House.

Cheney is one of two Republicans on the committee.

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