Two days after a bipartisan committee voted to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress, the full House voted to approve the resolution, referring Bannon to the U.S. Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.
While the vote was largely along party lines, nine Republicans voted for the measure.
“Steve Bannon has led us down this path by refusing to cooperate in any way with our investigation,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said ahead of the floor vote. Thompson chairs the committee that sent the charges to the full House.
On Tuesday, the bipartisan House Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection voted Tuesday night to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to appear before the committee. In her statement read before the committee, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) said:
“Based on the committee’s investigation, it appears that Mr. Bannon had substantial advanced knowledge of the plans for January 6 and likely had an important role in formulating those plans.”
A day before the unrest, Bannon told viewers of his online show that “all hell is going to break loose,” as detailed in a report released this month by the committee. “It’s not going to happen like you think it’s going to happen,” he said, adding that “it’s going to be quite extraordinarily different. All I can say is, strap in.”
The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection set a vote to recommend criminal contempt charges against former White House aide Steve Bannon after he defied the panel’s subpoena on Thursday.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairman, led a vote to recommend the charges. It now heads to the House for a floor vote. If the full House votes to recommend charges of contempt against Bannon, it will be up to the Justice Department to decide whether to prosecute.
“The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt,” Thompson said in a statement.
Trump tells former advisors to ignore Congress
In a letter viewed by POLITICO, a Trump lawyer told his former advisors subpoenaed by the committee, Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, and Dan Scavino, to not cooperate with the probe. The letter stated the committee is seeking materials that are covered by executive privilege, as well as other privileges.
President Biden rejected Trump’s claims that the materials were covered by executive privilege and has instructed the National Archives to potentially release documents from the last administration to Congress in mid-November.
A second witness was called for a deposition Thursday, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel. He also did not appear, according to two people familiar with the confidential negotiations who were granted anonymity to discuss them. But Patel is still engaging with the committee, the people said, and the committee is not pursuing contempt charges against him.
If they are convicted of criminal contempt of Congress, Bannon and other former Trump advisors could face a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.