Attempts by Donald Trump to shield information that ties him to inciting the Jan. 6 riot are no longer being tolerated now that he has left the White House. Unfortunately for Steve Bannon that also means Trump is no longer in the Oval Office to pardon him for new crimes.
BREAKING: The Washington Post is reporting that the January 6th Committee is ramping up its efforts to force Steve Bannon and others to comply with the subpoenas. The Committee is prepared to pursue criminal charges against these witnesses!
— Aaron Parnas (@AaronParnas) October 13, 2021
In a private letter to Bannon’s attorney, the commission laid out their arguments for holding Bannon in contempt of Congress if he continues to refuse to appear for questioning after having been subpoenaed. Those arguments included the fact that Trump has not filed any kind of executive privilege order to the committee and that subpoenaed individuals must appear before Congress, as former White House attorney Don McGahn learned in court.
According to The Washington Post:
‘The emphatic tone of the letter and legal arguments it lays out underscore the committee’s desire to move quickly and aggressively to combat any attempts to slow down or scuttle its investigation. The panel is scheduled to meet Tuesday evening to vote on the contempt charge against Bannon, which it is expected to approve, and it is possiblethe vote could be taken up by the full House as early as this week. The matter would then go to the Justice Department.’
Jan. 6 committee told Bannon lawyer he doesn’t enjoy absolute immunity even if executive privilege held — “A President lacks legal authority to order an aide not to appear before Congress,” per McGahn case.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) October 18, 2021
Bannon was charged with fraud during Trump’s presidency after bilking Trump’s supporters of money he claimed would go to “build the wall.” That wall still isn’t built and Bannon stole at least two million dollars from the funds. He was arrested on a $35 million, 150-foot yacht belonging to , the fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui. Trump pardoned him before leaving office.
‘Contempt of Congress is a misdemeanor criminal offense that can result in up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Criminal contempt can only be pursued by the Justice Department, setting up potential bureaucratic and legal hurdles. The committee can pursue civil contempt charges without the involvement of the Justice Department but that has historically produced substantial delays.’
ICYMI: John Dean told us “I think Bannon is up to his eyeballs” in the Jan. 6 insurrection…. “I think he’s a vital witness.” https://t.co/7Y2301msEl
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 17, 2021
Two other subpoenaed Trump officials, Kash Patel, former Chief of Staff for the Defense Secretary, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, are currently “engaging” with committee officials. A third, Dan Scavino, who served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff to the Communications Department, was served on Oct. 9.
‘In addition to Bannon, the committee has subpoenaed documents and testimony from other key Trump advisers, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino and Kash Patel, a former national security and Defense Department aide.’
"We intend to go after anyone who doesn't provide information that they're lawfully compelled to, to our committee.," Rep. Schiff says on the Jan. 6 committee moving to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for defying a subpoena. https://t.co/2DyGTlBKNZ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 18, 2021