Jan 6 Committee Votes To Hold Steve Bannon In Contempt Of Congress

The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol voted unanimously Tuesday night to hold former Trump advisor Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for defying a subpoena to appear and produce records.

The criminal contempt vote stems from Bannon’s decision to defy the committee’s subpoena seeking records and a deposition scheduled for last week. In a letter to the committee, Bannon’s attorney, Robert Costello, said that Bannon would not comply with the subpoena until lawmakers reached an agreement with Trump or until a court rules on the matter.

“We believe Mr. Bannon has information relevant to our probe, and we’ll use the tools at our disposal to get that information,” Chairman Bennie Thompson said ahead of the vote. “I expect that the House will quickly adopt this referral to the Justice Department and that the U.S. Attorney will do his duty and prosecute Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress.”

Thompson added that “there isn’t a different set of rules for Mr. Bannon. He knows this. He knows there are consequences for outright defiance. And he’s chosen the path toward criminal contempt by taking this position.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, Vice-Chair of the committee, also spoke before the vote, arguing that the executive privilege arguments raised by former President Trump and Bannon “appear to reveal one thing…they suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6. And we will get to the bottom of that.”

She also, at one point, directly addressed her Republican colleagues.

“Almost all of you know in your hearts that what happened on January 6 was profoundly wrong,” Cheney said. “You know that there is no evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to overturn the election; you know that the Dominion voting machines were not corrupted by a foreign power. You know those claims are false.”

She continued, “Yet President Trump repeats them almost daily. He has now urged Republicans not to vote in the 2022 and 2024 elections. This is a prescription for national self-destruction.”

The measure now goes to the full House for a vote later this week. If a majority of the House finds him criminal contempt, then the House will refer the case to the Justice Department for prosecution.

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