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U.S. House votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Photo: Getty Images via AFP  

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to hold far-right Trump ally and adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena requesting his deposition and documents in connection with the January 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. The vote comes after a Democrat-led Select Committee looking into the attack unanimously approved the charges be placed before the House for consideration.

The vote, which was split 229-202, largely along party lines, has become a litmus test for Republicans, separating the vast majority of them — who have stuck former President Donald Trump — and the few, who have said the January 6 attack on the Capitol , which sought to disrupt the election certification process, undermined democracy and transcended party politics.

Nine Republicans voted to hold Mr. Bannon in contempt, including Liz Cheney of Wyoming, daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney and a critic of Mr. Trump . Addressing Republicans on Monday, Ms. Cheney, who is the Vice Chair of the Committee, said they knew in “their hearts” that what happened on January 6 was “profoundly wrong”.

Next step

The Department of Justice will now decide whether to bring the matter before a Grand Jury which will determine whether or not to bring criminal charges against Mr. Bannon. Penalties for defying a subpoena include a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to one year.

Biden’s position

Attorney-General Merrick Garland said his Department would “make a decision consistent with the principles of prosecution”, the Associated Press reported. President Joe Biden has signalled his support for the prosecution of Mr. Bannon.

Mr. Bannon, who hosts a podcast called War Room, told his listeners during a January 5 episode that “all hell” was going to break lose on January 6.

The Democrat-led Select Committee had said Mr. Bannon spoke with Mr. Trump on December 30 and suggested he focus his efforts (to overturn the results of the election which Mr. Biden won) on January 6.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 6:35:26 AM |

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