House committee approves contempt charges for Trump ally

House committee investigating January 6 attack on the US Capitol formally approves holding Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.

Ben Ariel ,

Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill
iStock

The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol on Tuesday formally approved holding Steve Bannon, one of former President Donald Trump's allies, in contempt of Congress.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson told CNN on Tuesday that he expects the full House to vote on criminal contempt charges for Bannon before the end of the week, and a source familiar with the floor schedule told CNN the plan is for the chamber to vote on the referral on Thursday.

After the full House vote, it would then get referred to the Justice Department.

The criminal contempt report was approved and moves to the floor without any opposition from the committee members.

On Tuesday night, members of the committee blasted Bannon for refusing to cooperate with the panel's probe and said he is "isolated" in doing so as other witnesses are working with the panel.

Bannon is one of four Trump associates who received subpoenas to appear before the committee. The others are former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino and Kash Patel, a former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller who had also served as an aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.

Meadows and Patel have been cooperating with the committee, but Bannon was not. Separately, because service of Scavino’s subpoena was delayed, the Select Committee has postponed his scheduled deposition.

Following the full House vote expected later this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to certify the report to the United States attorney for the District of Columbia. Under law, this certification then requires the United States attorney to "bring the matter before the grand jury for its action," but the Justice Department will also make its own determinations for prosecution.

In May, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to form a commission to probe the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The bill was approved in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

Two days later, however, Senate Republicans blocked the legislation. Senators voted 54-35 on the House-passed bill, falling short of the 10 GOP votes needed to get it over an initial hurdle.

Without any pathway forward in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would use her power to pursue a select committee in the House that will be controlled by Democrats.

On Monday, Trump filed a lawsuit seeking to block White House records from his tenure there being obtained by the congressional committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.

The lawsuit accuses the select committee and Thompson of harassing Trump and senior members of his administration with “an illegal, unfounded, and overbroad records request to the Archivist of the United States.”

It also accuses President Joe Biden of “a political ploy” by refusing to assert executive privilege over the records to keep them from going to the committee.



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