UPDATE: January 6th Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) announced on Thursday that the committee will meet Tuesday, October 19th, to vote on a criminal contempt referral for Steve Bannon, the former Trump adviser who has defied a subpoena to appear before the committee.
“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,” Thompson’s announcement read. “We reject his position entirely. The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt.”
JUST IN: Chairman of the 1/6 committee Rep. Bennie Thompson officially announces panel will "move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt."
This comes after Bannon defied Thursday deadline to comply with subpoena. pic.twitter.com/PWmeHnR3Up
— Zachary Cohen (@ZcohenCNN) October 14, 2021
“The Select Committee will use every tool at its disposal to get the information it seeks,” Thompson added, “and witnesses who try to stonewall the Select Committee will not succeed.”
Original post below.
Steve Bannon is supposed to testify before the Select Committee investigating January 6th on Thursday. He’s not going to, and now the committee is expected to refer him for criminal charges “immediately,” CNN has reported, citing sources familiar with the planning.
Bannon, a former adviser to Trump, sent a letter to the committee on Wednesday reiterating his intent to defy a subpoena seeking testimony and documents related to January 6th. In the letter, Bannon’s attorney wrote that because Trump is claiming executive privilege, the former White House strategist will not testify until Trump reaches an agreement with the committee or a court makes a decision on the issue.
Steve Bannon team has fired off another letter to Jan 6 committee repeating that they will not cooperate citing Trump executive privilege claims. Letter obtained by @ABC below —-> pic.twitter.com/BU0F9MuFv0
— John Santucci (@Santucci) October 13, 2021
“That is an issue between the committee and President Trump’s counsel, and Mr. Bannon is not required to respond at this time,” wrote Bannon attorney Robert Costello.
Trump has instructed former advisers not to cooperate with subpoenas from the committee, asking them to use any immunities they may have “to the fullest extent permitted by law.”
But the committee is not accepting executive privilege as an excuse for Bannon’s noncooperation, and members, including Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), have publicly threatened criminal referrals for witnesses who do not comply. Claiming executive privilege — which Trump did frequently to stonewall Congress while he was in office — is an especially absurd move for Bannon to make considering he was not employed by the federal government at the time of the attack on the Capitol.
“The reason why some of these witnesses, people like Steve Bannon, who have been public about their contempt for Congress, feel they can get away with it, is for four years they did,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who sits on the committee, told MSNBC on Wednesday. The White House has already rejected Trump’s attempts to use executive privilege to block the release of certain documents, and the administration has set a deadline of a month from now for the National Archives to provide the documents to the committee.
Three additional former Trump advisers have subpoena deadlines this week: former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, and former Pentagon official Kashyap Patel.
“We’ll see if they show up,” said committee member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). “If they show up, we’ll be prepared.”