- Rep. Adam Schiff said the January 6 committee would vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to comply with their subpoena.
- Bannon said last week that he would not comply with the committee’s subpoena for information relating to the January 6 riot.
- Trump’s legal team instructed his former aides, including Bannon, not to comply with congressional subpoenas.
Rep. Adam Schiff on Sunday said the January 6 committee investigating the riot at the US Capitol would move to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena for information relating to the insurrection.
Bannon served as former President Donald Trump’s White House chief strategist in 2017.
Schiff told MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart on Sunday that the committee would vote on a report about Bannon that could ultimately be escalated to the US Department of Justice.
“The report concludes that Bannon should be held in contempt. He failed to appear. He has no reasonable explanation for that failure to appear,” Schiff said, adding that the report would then go to the full House vote.
“The full House will vote to hold him in criminal contempt, and then the speaker will ultimately refer that contempt to the Justice Department, where the statute says that the Justice Department has the duty to present it to the grand jury,” Schiff continued.
The House Select Committee announced in September that it would subpoena Bannon – as well as other top aides to the former president, like Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel – in an attempt to gather intel from those who spoke with Trump leading up to and on the day of the insurrection.
In response, a lawyer for Trump instructed his aides to defy the subpoenas, citing “executive and other privileges” that he said allow Trump advisors to buck the subpoenas and refuse to hand over records.
Robert Costello, a lawyer for Bannon, said in an October 13 letter to the committee that Bannon was “not in defiance” of the subpoena.
“Mr. Bannon noted that President Trump’s counsel stated that they were invoking executive and other privileges and therefore directed us not to produce documents or give testimony that might reveal information President Trump’s counsel seeks to legally protect,” Costello wrote.
Costello did not return Insider’s request for comment Sunday.
Schiff said he does not know when the report against Bannon will be taken up on the House floor.
“We hope to take it up very soon, but we’re not messing around here. We’re moving very expeditiously,” Schiff said. “To me, this is an early sign of whether our democracy is recovering, whether it’s true that no one is above the law, that the rule of law must apply. So we intend to go after anyone who doesn’t provide information that they’re lawfully compelled to, to our committee.”
The committee agreed last week to postpone the depositions for Meadows and Patel, MSNBC reported. Scavino’s was delayed because it was delivered late.
“We try to get voluntary testimony. With those that we expect to be hostile, sometimes we go straight to a subpoena,” Schiff said.
It would send a “powerful message” to other uncooperative witnesses to see the Justice Department eventually bring charges against Bannon, Schiff added Sunday.
When the MSNBC host asked Schiff whether the committee would ask Trump himself to testify, Schiff said he did not “know the answer” but “that will be a decision that we’ll make as a committee.”
“No one is off the table,” Schiff said. “We will go where we need to go to get the evidence that we need to present to the American people and write a definitive report of the terror of that day and what we need to do to protect the country going forward. And one of the biggest black boxes in terms of the unknowns is Donald Trump’s role.”