January 6 Capitol attack | Panel sets vote on contempt charges against Steve Bannon

Political strategist Steve Bannon gestures during a speech during an election rally in Richmond, Virginia on October 13, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

A congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection has set a vote to recommend criminal contempt charges against former White House aide Steve Bannon after he defied the panel's subpoena.

Representative Bennie Thompson said that the panel will vote on October 19 to recommend the charges. That would send the recommendation to the full House for a vote.

If the House votes to recommend the contempt charges against Mr. Bannon, the Justice Department will ultimately decide whether to prosecute. The committee had demanded documents and testimony from Mr. Bannon, who was in touch with President Donald Trump ahead of the violent attack.

“The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt,” Mr. Thompson said in a statement.

The committee had scheduled an October 14 deposition with Mr. Bannon, but his lawyer has said that at Mr. Trump’s direction he wouldn't appear. A second witness called for a deposition on October 14, former Defence Department official Kashyap Patel, also would not appear, according to two people familiar with the confidential negotiations who were granted anonymity to discuss them. But Mr. Patel is still engaging with the committee, the people said.

Two other aides who worked for Mr. Trump — former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and longtime Trump social media director Dan Scavino — are scheduled for depositions on October 15. It is unclear whether they will appear. Like Mr. Patel, Mr. Meadows is speaking with the committee.

Mr. Bannon’s testimony is just one facet of an escalating congressional inquiry, with 19 subpoenas issued so far and thousands of pages of documents flowing in. But his defiance is a crucial moment for the committee, whose members are vowing to restore the binding force of congressional subpoenas after they were routinely flouted during Trump’s time in office.

“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," Mr. Thompson said in his statement. “We reject his position entirely.”

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 12:18:32 PM |

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