The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol will vote next Tuesday to hold former President Donald Trump’s political adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for not complying with a subpoena, NBC News reported on Thursday.
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, according to NBC News.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said in a statement on Thursday that Bannon has declined to cooperate with the committee and is instead “hiding behind the former President’s insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke."
“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,” said Thompson, who said that the vote is scheduled for Tuesday evening.
A lawyer for Bannon said in a letter to the committee Wednesday that the former White House aide would not comply with the subpoena the committee issued for documents and his testimony.
Thompson said that the committee will “use every tool at its disposal to get the information it seeks, and witnesses who try to stonewall the Select Committee will not succeed.”
Trump, in a statement on Thursday, criticized the committee for planning to hold Bannon in contempt, claiming partisanship. He also argued that the committee is "using prosecutors and prosecutions" to target his base.
A request for comment by Bannon was not immediately returned. Contempt of Congress can result in a fine and between one and 12 months in prison, according to the committee.
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.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy then protested Pelosi's refusal to seat two of the Republicans he named to the panel — Reps. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan.
The House of Representatives then voted 218-197 against McCarthy’s effort to seat his preferred members for the select committee.