The US House of Representatives voted on Thursday to hold Steve Bannon, a longtime ally and aide to former President Donald Trump, in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the committee investigating the January 6 riots on the Capitol, reports The Associated Press.
In a rare show of bipartisanship on the House floor, the committee's Democratic chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, led the floor debate along with Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of two Republicans on the panel. Still, the vote was 229-202 with all but nine GOP lawmakers who voted saying "no."
The House vote sends the matter to the US attorney´s office in Washington, where it will now be up to prosecutors in that office to decide whether to present the case to a grand jury for possible criminal charges.
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.
Thursday’s vote in the House came two days after the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol formally approved holding Bannon in contempt of Congress.
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.