Jan. 6 committee recommends Bannon face criminal contempt for defying subpoena


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The panel’s recommendation will go to the full house for another vote

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The House Jan. 6 select committee voted on Tuesday night to recommend that former President Donald Trump’s one-time top adviser Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress over his refusal to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into the Capitol riot. be held in

The panel’s unanimous recommendation will move to another vote in the full House, which will take place on Thursday. If approved, the measure would move to the Justice Department, whose officials would make a final decision on whether to prosecute Bannon. A former Trump adviser could face up to 12 months in prison or a fine.


“Mr. Bannon stands alone in complete defiance of our subpoena. This is not acceptable,” Representative Benny Thompson, D-Miss, the panel’s chair, said in remarks before the vote. “No one in this country, no matter how rich or how powerful, is above the law.”

In its contempt report for Bannon, the panel said that his team had “not relied on any legal authority to refuse to comply in any way with the summons.” The report added that Bannon “had specific information about the events on January 6th,” noting that he said on his January 5th podcast that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

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Thompson indicated that the panel would take similar action if other witnesses did not cooperate with the investigation.

The vote was seen as a pivotal moment for the select committee, whose members have vowed to force Trump administration officials to cooperate with their investigation. The decision could set up a protracted court battle over the extent of protection provided by executive privilege.

In late September, the select committee collected documents and documents from four former Trump aides — Bannon, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House deputy chief of staff for communications Daniel Scavino and former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel. Summons issued to testify. . The panel ordered Bannon to appear in a statement on October 14.

Trump’s lawyers instruct aides not to comply with subpoenas. Bannon declined to appear in the statement. Bannon’s lawyers cited Trump’s directive and argued that the former president’s attempt to cite executive privilege should be resolved first.

President Biden refused to invoke executive privilege to block the release of Trump-era documents sought by the select committee. His decision prompted Trump to file a federal lawsuit this week against the January 6th Select Committee and the National Archives, arguing that the investigation was a “disturbing, illegal fishing operation.”

The committee rejected Bannon’s attorney’s request to delay the vote on the contempt report to allow it to consider Trump’s trial.

FILE - In this September 24, 2021, file photo, Rep. Benny Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee on the January 6 attacks, talks to reporters outside the Capitol in D-Miss Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, FILE)

Bannon served as Trump’s top adviser during his 2016 presidential campaign and the early days of his administration. He left the White House in August 2017 and was not an active member of the administration during the period covered by the summons.

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