Steve Bannon, as soon as Donald Trump’s right-hand man and now nonetheless loyally constructing help for the previous President, may quickly face expenses for ignoring a subpoena demanding he seem earlier than the Home choose committee investigating the Jan. 6 rebellion on the U.S. Capitol.
Final week, Bannon’s lawyer knowledgeable the particular congressional committee that the right-wing media determine would defy the subpoena, citing Trump’s “govt privilege”—regardless of the plain proven fact that Trump is not a sitting president and Bannon was solely a former adviser on the time of the rebellion
In response, Chairman of the particular committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), issued a press release on Thursday saying his panel would “not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we should transfer ahead with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for prison contempt.”
“I’ve notified the Choose Committee that we are going to convene for a enterprise assembly Tuesday night to vote on adopting a contempt report,” the chairman mentioned.
Bannon’s New York Metropolis legal professional, Robert Joseph Costello, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Whereas being held in contempt of Congress is often a drawn out course of, retribution on this case may very well be swift.
If the choose committee approves the contempt report, then the matter strikes to the U.S. Home of Representatives, the place all members will vote on a decision that may refer the witness—Bannon—to the Justice Division. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would then ship the referral to Channing D. Phillips, the performing U.S. Legal professional for the District of Columbia.
Federal prosecutors may then pursue a prison cost towards Bannon for having violated a legislation that deems this type of outright defiance a misdemeanor, punishable by jail time spanning between a month and a yr.
The Justice Division didn’t instantly reply to The Each day Beast’s inquiries about whether or not it has already been contacted about this matter, or how shortly it will make a transfer towards the Trump acolyte.
Bannon seems to be working below a novel authorized strategy that mainly claims govt privilege lasts past a president’s time in workplace and extends to White Home staff—even former staff—although authorized students already appear uncertain concerning the validity of the conservative commentator’s argument.
Nonetheless, Bannon’s insistence that he’s honoring Trump’s ongoing govt privilege additionally throws a bone to the rabid, right-wing conspiracy theorists who proceed to say that Trump remains to be president.
The transfer can also be typical Bannon. The conservative media determine, who as soon as served as Trump’s chief strategist on the White Home, is on a years-long crusade to birth ultra-right-wing nationalist sects internationally. And a part of that’s an utter rejection of presidency authority.
This isn’t the primary time Bannon has defied a subpoena. He additionally rebuffed the Federal Commerce Fee for greater than a yr, when Cambridge Analytica—a London agency that Bannon was a board member for—was caught improperly accessing Fb to construct voter profiles and assist Trump in 2016.
On the time, Bannon was additionally CEO of Trump’s 2016 presidential marketing campaign, so the FTC wished to interview him to look at whether or not he had abused his place and performed a task within the scandal. The FTC got here at him with a “civil investigative demand”—basically an administrative subpoena—to submit him right into a deposition. However Bannon merely refused to play ball. The FTC filed a federal lawsuit to pressure him to conform, and this previous January, U.S. District Decide Christopher Cooper granted the FTC’s petition.
To date, Bannon has largely escaped repercussions for his conduct. Though he was arrested in August 2020 and hit with federal expenses for stealing greater than $1 million from a “We Build the Wall” fundraiser, he was pardoned by Trump throughout the president’s previous couple of hours in workplace this previous January.