Jan. 6 Committee Weighs Criminal Contempt Referral for Bannon

The House Select Committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots on Friday said it would ”swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral” for former White House adviser Steve Bannon, who on Friday said he would not comply with a subpoena.

Bannon ”has indicated that he will try to hide behind vague references to privileges of the former President,” committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in a statement.

”The Select Committee fully expects all of these witnesses to comply with our demands for both documents and deposition testimony,” they added.

Former Trump officials Mark Meadows and Kash Patel are ”so far, engaging with the Select Committee,” they added.

”Though the Select Committee welcomes good-faith engagement with witnesses seeking to cooperate with our investigation, we 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. 

”We thank those many patriotic Americans who are coming forward voluntarily to participate in our inquiry. The Committee is making rapid progress and will not be deterred by those who seek to obstruct our efforts.”

Bannon’s attorney in an email sent to the committee obtained by CNN cited former President Donald Trump’s claim of executive privilege.

“We must accept his direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege,” Robert Costello wrote.

“As such, until these issues are resolved, we are unable to respond to your request for documents and testimony.”

Trump told Bannon and other subpoena targets not to comply with congressional requests for testimony because documents could contain privileged material.

Bannon was fired from his role as White House adviser in 2017.

The Select Committee issued subpoenas on Thursday seeking records and testimony related to the ”Stop the Steal” rally that took place on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

”The rally on the Capitol grounds on January 6th, like the rally near the White House that day, immediately preceded the violent attack on the seat of our democracy,” Thompson said in a statement.

”Over the course of that day, demonstrations escalated to violence and protestors became rioters. The Select Committee needs to understand all the details about the events that came before the attack, including who was involved in planning and funding them. We expect these witnesses to cooperate fully with our probe.”

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