Steve Bannon won't cooperate with the investigators until the dispute is settled about Trump's invocation of executive privilege to block certain documents sought by the committee.
On Tuesday, a special committee of the U.S. House investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot voted unanimously to approve a report which holds Steve Bannon, former chief strategist for President Donald Trump, in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with the panel's subpoena and appear for a deposition.
Bannon told the special committee that he won't cooperate with the investigators until the dispute is settled about Trump's invocation of executive privilege to block certain documents sought by the committee. The special committee rebutted the executive privilege of Bannon and provided a legal argument for why Bannon must comply with the subpoena.
"I expect that the House will quickly adopt this referral through the Justice Department and that the U.S. attorney will do his duty, and prosecute Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress," said Bennie Thompson, Democratic congressman who chairs the special committee.
The report will go to the full House, where a floor vote could be expected on Thursday. After the House vote, the report will be referred to the Justice Department.
Are there any non-extremist Republican voters who might care that Steve Bannon has formed an alliance with an AR15-and-Trump worshipping offshoot of the Moonies cult, which is setting up compounds in TN & TX? Do they care that Bannon seems to want mass murder of non-MAGAs?! 1/ pic.twitter.com/tuvADpQCur— Jennifer Cohn ✍�� �� (@jennycohn1) October 18, 2021
The select committee has requested a trove of documents and communications within the White House concerning what happened on Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump's supporters raided the Capitol in an attempt to stop the Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.
While it can be expected that the Democratic-controlled House, which impeached Trump in January for inciting the Capitol insurrection, will vote to adopt the referral, it is uncertain whether the Justice Department would choose to prosecute the criminal contempt charges against Bannon. And even if it does, the contempt cases are difficult to win.
In addition to Bannon, former senior officials in the Trump administration who were also sent subpoenas include former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department lawyer who positioned himself as a Trump ally.