Former Obama adviser David Axelrod suggested Friday that President Biden refrain from commenting on the Jan. 6 select committee hearings after the president told reporters the Justice Department should prosecute any witnesses who refuse to comply with the panel’s subpoenas.
“Probably best @POTUS leave this to the AG,” Axelrod tweeted, referring to Attorney General Merrick Garland, who heads the Justice Department. Axelrod’s tweet included a link to a news article about Biden’s remarks.
The president’s comments came a day after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon failed to show up on Capitol Hill to testify. Former President Trump has told his associates to invoke executive privilege.
“I hope the committee goes after them and holds them accountable,” Biden told reporters, referring to those choosing to take Trump’s advice.
The panel will vote Tuesday whether to pursue criminal contempt charges against Bannon.
“The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas,” U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the committee, said in a statement. “Bannon hiding behind the former president’s insufficient, blanket and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke. We reject his position entirely.”
Axelrod also tweeted Thursday that the Trump strategy of defying subpoenas was “clear and familiar. Run out the clock.”
The political strategist regularly gives his unvarnished opinions of politicians, including many Democrats.
Earlier this month, Axelrod also advised Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to declare a “public safety emergency” due to rising crime in the city.
“It requires the mayor to do what mayors don’t like to do, which is to say … ‘this is more than we can handle here at city government,’” Axelrod told FOX 32 after U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., revealed that a person in a nearby vehicle started firing a gun into the air when he and his wife were riding home in Chicago last month.
Axelrod has criticized Biden multiple times in the past, calling him “low energy” and claiming he had “distorted” his record at times during the 2020 presidential campaign. He also called Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan “a disaster.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.