The Department of Justice (DOJ) and White House press secretary Jen Psaki are doing damage control after President Biden told reporters Friday evening that anyone who defies a congressional subpoena should be prosecuted.
The remarks by the president come as the Jan. 6 select commission is ramping up issuing subpoenas for former President Trump administration officials and others who may have information on Trump’s efforts to investigate claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Biden told reporters in a South Lawn gaggle outside of Air Force One, “I hope the committee goes after them and holds accountable.” He was referring to individuals who refuse to comply with a congressional subpoena.
One reporter followed up, “Should they be prosecuted?”
“I do, yes,” responded Biden.
DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley responded with a terse statement Friday evening in response to Biden.
“The Department of Justice will make its own independent decisions in all prosecutions based solely on the facts and the law. Period. Full stop,” said Coley.
In addition, Psaki attempted to clarify Biden’s statement on Twitter, stating that the president supports the “independent role” of DOJ’s prosecutorial decisions.
Former President Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark was subpoenaed by the commission earlier this week for testimony and documents.
In addition, former Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen reportedly sat down for an interview with the commission on Wednesday.
“Probably best @POTUS leave this to the AG,” former President Obama adviser David Axelrod also tweeted, referring to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Fox News’ David Spunt and Brie Stimson contributed to this report.