Monday, September 26

Committee votes in contempt of former Trump aide Steve Bannon

A congressional committee in the U.S. unanimously voted to hold Steve Bannon, former White House adviser to Donald Trump, in contempt of Congress after he refused to appear before lawmakers investigating the 6 insurrection. January at the Capitol.

Bannon was a key aide to former President Donald Trump until he was fired in 2017.

The committee says it is seeking Bannon’s testimony because of his reported communications with Trump prior to the Jan. 6 siege of this year, in which dozens of police officers were injured and elected officials ran for their lives as Trump supporters opened up. way to the Capitol. building in Washington DC.

Donald Trump is attempting to block the committee’s work, telling Bannon and others not to answer questions and filing a lawsuit to prevent Congress from obtaining documents related to his time in the White House.

Bannon’s communications with Trump before the insurrection, his efforts to get Trump to focus on congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory, and his January 5 comments that “all hell is going to break loose” the next day , are all of interest. to the committee.

Bannon challenged a subpoena for documents and testimony, but the committee said Tuesday it would not take no for an answer.

Committee chair Bennie Thompson said Bannon “is alone in his total defiance of our subpoena,” and while Bannon may be “willing to be a martyr to the shameful cause of whitewashing what happened on January 6, show your full loyalty to the former president ”, the contempt vote is a warning to other witnesses.

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“We will not be deterred. We will not be distracted. And we won’t delay, ”Thompson said.

Tuesday night’s vote sends the contempt resolution to the full House, which is expected to vote on the measure on Thursday.

The approval of the House of Representatives would send the matter to the Department of Justice, which would then decide whether to press criminal charges against Bannon.

The contempt resolution asserts that the former Trump aide and podcast host has no legal standing to reject the committee, even as Trump’s attorney has argued that Bannon should not disclose information because it is protected by the privilege of the former president’s office. .

Bannon “appears to have had multiple roles relevant to this investigation, including his role in building and participating in the public relations effort to ‘stop the robbery’ that motivated the attack” and “his efforts to plan political and other activity. before January 6, ”the committee wrote in the resolution recommending contempt.

The vote came a day after Trump sued the committee and the National Archives to fight the release of the documents the committee requested.

Trump’s lawsuit, filed after Biden said he would allow the documents to be released, claims that the panel’s August request was too broad and an “irritating and illegal fishing expedition.”

Trump’s lawsuit seeks to invalidate the entire congressional request, calling it too broad, unduly burdensome and a challenge to the separation of powers. Request a court order to prohibit the archivist from presenting the documents.

The Biden administration, in approving the documents for release, said that the violent siege of the Capitol more than nine months ago was such an extraordinary circumstance that it merited relinquishing the privilege that generally protects White House communications.

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