Previous embers His attorney said on Thursday that he would not appear to be testifying before the House committee investigating the January 6th uprising, his deputy Steve Bannon.
Old-White House Chief strategist turned podcast host Select Committee To investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol under the terms of a subpoena issued to him last month.
Mr Bannon’s lawyer, Robert Costello, said: Independent The former White House chief strategist – now a podcast host – will not appear before the committee, despite being ordered by a subpoena given to him last month. “He will not testify at this time,” Mr. Costello said in a text message.
In a letter to the committee chair, Representative Bennie Thompson, Mr. Costello explained that Mr Bannon’s refusal to cooperate was based on an assertion of executive privilege put forward by former President Donald Trump.
“Until we reach an agreement with President Trump or get a court order regarding the scope, scope and exercise of executive privilege… Mr. Bannon will not produce documents or testify,” he wrote.
Most legal experts say that with President Joe Biden’s sworn in on Jan. 20, Mr. Trump has lost the ability to apply for executive privilege, a legal doctrine that protects presidents’ communication with advisers, because the privilege belongs to the sitting chief executive and office of office. the presidency, not the ex-president.
Mr Bannon’s refusal to provide evidence or cooperate in any way with the committee makes it possible for him to face criminal charges for contempt of Congress.
In a statement last week, Mr Thompson and Vice President Representative Liz Cheney pledged to take swift action against any witnesses who deliberately ignored the committee’s requests for testimony and documents.
Mr Thompson and Ms Cheney said: “We will not allow any witness to challenge a legal subpoena or attempt to circumvent time, and we will rapidly consider advancing a criminal contempt for the referral of Congress.”
If both a majority of the committee and a majority of the House of Representatives vote to authorize a criminal defamation referral against Mr. Bannon, such an application will be sent by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the US Attorney General for the District of Columbia. required by law to present defamation charges to a grand jury.
While previous administrations have often refused to act on punitive insults from Congress, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the Biden administration would “of course” comply with the law.
Three other former Trump administration officials – former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Daniel Scavino, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel – were subpoenaed this week ordering them to testify before the committee.
Mr Patel is also scheduled to testify on Thursday, but it remains unclear whether he will appear, although committee sources say he is “in relationship” with the committee.
Mr Meadows, who served as a North Carolina congressman until he resigned to become Trump’s chief aide in April 2020, is also said to be “related” to the committee.
It is expected to appear on Friday, but did not specify whether it would do so. Mr. Scavino is not expected to appear because he had successfully avoided subpoena until late last week and will therefore not have to testify for a few more weeks. .