January 6 Committee Moves To Charge Steve Bannon With Criminal Contempt


The Jan. 6 Select Committee announced that it will hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt after the former Trump aide failed to show up for a deposition.

“Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President’s insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke,” said Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson in a press statement . “We reject his position entirely. The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt.”

The criminal contempt proceedings mark the first such action taken by the committee in response to a witness’s refusal to cooperate or testify. Other Trump allies, including Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, and Kash Patel, a former Pentagon aide, have complied with subpoenas, the commission confirmed .

Bannon sent a letter last week informing the committee that he would not cooperate with the select committee’s subpoena.

“It is therefore clear to us that since the executive privileges belong to President Trump,” wrote Robert Costello, Bannon’s lawyer, “and he has, through his counsel, announced his intention to assert those executive privileges enumerated above, we must accept his direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege. As such, until these issues are resolved, we are unable to respond to your request for documents and testimony.”

Trump had also encouraged his former aides not to comply with the committee’s subpoenas. “Unselect Committee of partisan Democrats, and two very weak and pathetic RINOs,” said Trump in an Oct. 7 statement, “should come to the conclusion after spending many millions of dollars, that the real insurrection happened on November 3rd, the Presidential Election, not on January 6th — which was a day of protesting the Fake Election results.”

Thompson and Rep. Liz Cheney responded to Bannon’s remarks by noting that the committee “welcomes good-faith engagement with witnesses seeking to cooperate with our investigation.” However, the committee “will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral.”

If the Department of Justice prosecutes Bannon for failing to comply with his subpoena, he could face fines up to $100,000 and up to a year in prison.

Author : Christopher Hutton

Source : Washington Examiner : Jan. 6 committee moves to charge Steve Bannon with criminal contempt