Steve Helber / AP
After failing to appear for a deposition on Thursday, the Democratic-led House select committee investigating the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol said it would continue criminal contempt proceedings against the ally of Trump and political strategist Steve Bannon.
Three other former Trump officials will be see their depositions postponed, according to a committee aide.
“The select committee will use all the tools at its disposal to obtain the information it seeks, and witnesses who attempt to block the select committee will not succeed. All witnesses are required to provide the information they have so the committee can get to the facts, “President Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Said in a statement.
He said the committee would vote on a contempt of Bannon report on Tuesday night, following his long threat of criminal referrals to the Justice Department for those who fail to comply, which could result in potential fines and penalties. from prison.
Thompson added that the panel is grateful to the “many people” who voluntarily participated in the investigation, including several who met recent subpoena deadlines to produce documents.
Bannon and former Defense Ministry official Kashyap Patel were invited to sit for depositions on Thursday. Their testimony was to be followed by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Trump deputy chief of staff for communications Dan Scavino on Friday.
The committee had previously said Meadows and Patel were in talks with the panel, and as a result of those ongoing talks their depositions will be delayed for a “short” time, an aide said. Scavino, who only received his subpoena last week, will also have his testimony postponed.
Bannon was not to cooperate with the panel, citing executive privilege. In an October 13 letter obtained by NPR, Bannon’s attorney reiterated this position to the committee, noting that former President Trump ordered Bannon not to produce documents or reveal conversations that Trump wishes to legally protect. Bannon, who left the Trump administration in 2017, was not in the White House in the weeks leading up to January 6.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said on Wednesday that Trump had asked witnesses to honor conversations and documents covered by executive privilege.
But committee members have repeatedly expressed skepticism at the claim, noting that executive privilege belongs to the current president, not past presidents.
“We are moving quickly to get answers for the American people on what happened on January 6 and to help secure the future of American democracy,” Thompson said.
The committee has a number of other subpoena deadlines approaching, including those of the right-wing group Stop the Steal and nearly a dozen other organizers behind the rally that preceded the deadly attack on the Capitol.
And the committee issued another subpoena on Wednesday for Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who had vowed to prosecute Trump’s false allegations of electoral fraud.