Former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has reportedly subpoenaed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and members of the committee in an attempt to push back at the contempt charges he faces, according to CNN. Bannon is scheduled to go on trial next month in the contempt charges the Justice Department brought against him last year for failing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s investigation.
Late last year, Bannon was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress follow his refusal to comply with the committee’s subpoena. Bannon pleaded not guilty.
In an effort to fight the contempt charges he’s facing, Bannon’s legal team reportedly subpoenaed 15 lawmakers and congressional staffers to testify at his trial next month, one of Bannon’s attorneys and copies of the subpoenas obtained by CNN indicated. The subpoenas reportedly target all nine members of the committee, three committee staffers and House general counsel Douglas Letter. Additionally, Bannon reportedly subpoenaed Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders such as Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
CNN noted there are challenges to compel members of Congress to testify, citing protection of their legislative activity under the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause. Therefore, lawmakers and staffers subpoenaed by Bannon’s legal team could possibly file a motion to reject those subpoenas.
Bannon’s legal team are reportedly seeking to challenge the legitimacy of the committee and the panel’s motives for targeting Bannon. Like other Trump allies in Congress and the former president’s administration who have defied the committee’s subpoenas, Bannon has claimed executive privilege in refusing to comply.
The subpoenas by Bannon’s attorneys also request documents related to the establishment of the committee, the decision to refer Bannon for criminal contempt, and communications between the panel and one of Bannon’s lawyers. Additionally, Bannon’s legal team specifically requested documents related to recently published books by committee members Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD).
Bannon’s reported subpoenas to the committee and Democratic leadership come amid other prominent Trump allies’ refusal to comply with the panel’s subpoenas. Last week, former Trump White House trade adviser was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress relating to his refusal to testify before the committee. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) have also stated their refusal to comply with the panel’s subpoenas, which they claim is constitutionally invalid because it fell short of certain legal standards. Meanwhile, Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) recently outlined their list of demands for the committee before they would commit to a testimony. The panel swiftly shot down Jordan’s demands.