House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who also serves on the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, made it clear on Tuesday that ex-White House senior adviser Steve Bannon is facing a whole new ball game as he attempts to defy the select committee’s subpoenas.
During a CNN interview, Schiff recalled the frustration of trying to get Bannon to testify in the Russia probe with then-Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr having little interest in helping lawmakers enforce the subpoenas.
“They would both support and protect and cover up for Donald Trump. That’s not the situation anymore,” Schiff said.
“We have a new attorney general, a new Justice Department dedicated to the principle that no one is above the law,” the Democrat continued. “So Bannon is in a completely different situation now.”
Schiff warned that the committee was “not fooling around.”
“Those who don’t cooperate with our committee are going to be the subject of criminal contempt,” he said. “We will vote on it in the House at the appropriate time, and we will refer to the Justice Department for prosecution.”
In addition to Bannon, the Jan. 6 committee has also subpoenaed ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump social media chief Dan Scavino and former Defense official Kash Patel.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) told CNN last week that Meadows and Patel are “engaging” with the panel.
Trump’s legal team sent letters to the four men last week telling them not to cooperate with the committee on the basis of protecting “executive and other privileges.”
That was the argument Bannon’s lawyer, Robert Costello, invoked on Thursday when he informed the committee that his client would not comply with the subpoena — despite the fact that Bannon had been out of the Trump administration for years before the Capitol insurrection.
Watch Schiff below: