The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has had enough of Steve Bannon.
Bannon, the White House’s chief strategist at the beginning of the Trump administration, finds himself facing charges of criminal contempt. The development follows his refusal to comply with the committee’s subpoena.
“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,” said Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson in a press statement. “We reject his position entirely. The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt.”
The criminal contempt proceedings mark the first such action taken by the committee in response to a witness’s refusal to cooperate or testify. Other Trump allies, including Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, and Kash Patel, a former Pentagon aide, have complied with subpoenas, the commission confirmed.
Bannon sent a letter last week informing the committee that he would not cooperate with the select committee’s subpoena.
“It is therefore clear to us that since the executive privileges belong to President Trump,” wrote Robert Costello, Bannon’s lawyer, “and he has, through his counsel, announced his intention to assert those executive privileges enumerated above, we must accept his direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege. As such, until these issues are resolved, we are unable to respond to your request for documents and testimony.”