Jan. 6 Panel Opens Contempt Proceedings Against Bannon

on February 15, 2018 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon arrives at a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee February 15, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Bannon showe... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon arrives at a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee February 15, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Bannon showed up to meet with the committee after the meeting was pushed back for three times recently. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Contempt proceedings against Stephen Bannon will begin on Tuesday, the House Jan. 6 Committee announced.

In a Thursday press release, the panel said that it intended to refer Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress.

The Select Committee will use every tool at its disposal to get the information it seeks, and witnesses who try to stonewall the Select Committee will not succeed,” Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MI) said in a statement.

Bannon has twice refused to comply with a subpoena that the panel issued last month, seeking records and testimony about his role in the run-up to Jan. 6. The former Trump campaign chairman was reportedly on the phone with Trump in the days leading up to the insurrection, and said that it would be a “reckoning” aimed at “kill[ing] the Biden presidency in the crib.”

The subpoena had set a deposition for Thursday. Bannon had said that he intended to skip the meeting.

Bannon, who left the White House in August 2017, has spun up spurious claims of executive privilege as he refuses to comply with the subpoena via his attorney, Robert Costello.

“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,” Rep. Thompson said in the statement. “We reject his position entirely.”

On Tuesday, the Jan. 6 Committee will convene to adopt a “contempt report,” which will document the panel’s efforts to obtain information from Bannon, and his failure to respond to the Committee’s demands.

The report will then go up for a vote in the full House, which will determine whether Bannon is held in contempt. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia then takes responsibility for investigating the matter after receiving the contempt report from the House.

The Jan. 6 Committee has issued more than a dozen subpoenas over the past several weeks.

The first round went to Bannon and three other close associates of the President, including his final chief of staff Mark Meadows and Pentagon appointee Kash Patel.

The panel has also demanded information from organizers and vendors of the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally on the ellipse, and from a smaller rally scheduled to be held on Capitol grounds that day. On Wednesday, it issued a subpoena to former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark.

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