Lawmakers investigating the assault on the US Capitol in January have voted to pursue criminal contempt charges against former aide to President Donald Trump – Steve Bannon.
The former advisor to the White House under the Trump Administration failed to comply with a subpoena to appear before the January 6th congressional select committee on Thursday.
Bannon told the panel he would be withholding testimony and documents until Trump’s claim of “executive privilege” had been resolved.
Executive privilege allows presidents to keep certain conversations with aides classified.
However, the congressional panel did not believe Bannon’s position was a lawful basis to ignore the order an voted unanimously to adopt a report setting out a case against him.
“Mr. Bannon has no legal right to ignore the committee’s lawful subpoena,” Representative Liz Cheney said.
There is issue with Trump’s claim that he is entitled to block Bannon from giving evidence, as executive privilege is not generally understood to apply to former occupants of the White House.
Likewise, Bannon wasn’t serving in Government at the time covered by the subpoena.
“Mr. Bannon will comply with our investigation or he will face the consequences,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson said.
IMAGE – “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/ “Steve Bannon” by Gaga Skidmore (CCBYSA3.0)