Politics

January 6 House Committee Recommends Steve Bannon Be Held In Contempt Of Congress

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6th has recommended that former adviser to President Trump, Steve Bannon, be held in contempt of Congress.

Bannon has refused to comply with the committee’s subpoena for documents and a deposition hearing on the events surrounding the Capitol riot, citing Trump’s previous claims of executive privilege.

“Mr. Bannon stands alone in his complete defiance of our subpoena. That’s not acceptable,” said Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who chairs the committee. 

“No one in this country, no matter how wealthy or how powerful, is above the law,” he added.

The unanimous recommendation will now move to a full House vote on Thursday where, if it passes, it will then head to the Justice Department for final determination.

RELATED: Trump Sues January 6 House Committee Over ‘Illegal Fishing Expedition’

Steve Bannon Recommended For Contempt Of Congress

Several members of the House select committee repeatedly warned of criminal contempt referrals if any of the aides to former President Trump defy their subpoenas, with one even going so far as to claim they’d use U.S. Marshals to round up anybody in defiance.

Democrat Stephanie Murphy, one of the majority members of the committee, said last week that the Marshals may be utilized.

“We have engaged with a wide variety of law enforcement offices, including the U.S. Marshals, in order to issue the subpoenas,” Murphy said in an interview.

Earlier this week, Trump filed a lawsuit against the committee, referring to it as an “illegal fishing expedition.”

“The January 6th Committee is a partisan sham to distract Americans from the Democrats’ policies that are killing and robbing Americans,” a statement reads.

Following news of the vote to refer Bannon for contempt of Congress, Trump issued a statement: “The Unselect Committee is composed of absolute political hacks who want to destroy the Republican Party and are decimating America itself,” he said.

RELATED: US Marshals May ‘Round Up And Arrest’ Trump Aides That Ignore January 6 Panel Subpoenas

Eric Holder’s Contempt

The recommendation to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress is seen as a pivotal move to compel former Trump aides to cooperate with the committee.

And, they warn, anybody else defying subpoenas to investigate the incident in January will meet similar efforts.

“Thompson indicated the panel would pursue similar action if other witnesses do not cooperate with the investigation,” Fox News reports.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder under President Barack Obama was the first sitting attorney general to have ever been held in contempt of Congress – both civilly and criminally – in a bipartisan vote on June 12th, 2012.

Holder’s contempt designation was for his role in stalling investigation of the Fast and Furious scandal – in which the Justice Department was involved in running guns to Mexico which were then lost and used by drug cartels.

One of the weapons was used in the shooting death of border patrol agent Brian Terry, while others turned up at the scenes of violent crimes in Phoenix, as well as several other violent crimes across the country.

The House also voted to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in criminal contempt in 2014.

A Cincinnati-based IRS unit under Lerner’s direction had begun searching for tax-exemption requests involving the words “Tea Party” and other “political sounding names,” stalling or even denying their applications based on their political leanings.

In the case of Holder, a federal district judge refused to hold Holder in contempt. Likewise, the Obama Justice Department refused to seek criminal contempt charges against Lerner.

Most readers will no doubt assume that Trump aides would get radically different treatment.

Meanwhile, Representative Liz Cheney suggested Bannon’s efforts to defy the committee subpoena are an admission that Trump was involved in planning the events of January 6th.

“Mr. Bannon’s and Mr. Trump’s privilege arguments do, however, appear to reveal one thing: They suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th, and this committee will get to the bottom of that,” she said.

 

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Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance writer focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been following and analyzing the political climate for several years, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, FoxNews.com and more.

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