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Steve Bannon faces criminal contempt referral, Jan. 6 panel chair says


Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon leaves Manhattan Federal Court on August 20, 2020 in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

The House special committee investigating the Jan.6 invasion of Capitol Hill announced Thursday that it will fire former Trump adviser Steve Bannon for criminal contempt for his refusal to comply with a subpoena.

The select committee will meet Tuesday night to vote on adopting a contempt report, President Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Said in a press release.

Bannon left former President Donald Trump’s White House years before hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, temporarily preventing Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Yet, he remains a dominant figure in pro-Trump political circles and has continued to defend the former president.

Bannon “hides behind the former president’s insufficient, general and vague statements regarding the privileges he purported to invoke,” Thompson said.

“We completely reject his position,” he said. “The select committee will not tolerate contempt for our subpoenas, so we must move forward with the proceedings to remove Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt.”

Spokesmen for Trump and Bannon did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment. Robert Costello, an attorney for Bannon who previously told the committee he planned to “honor” Trump’s invocation of executive privilege, did not immediately comment.

Congressional subpoena for Bannon set an Oct. 7 deadline for him to produce a series of documents to investigators. But Thompson said last week that Bannon refused to provide those documents, prompting the committee to consider a criminal referral to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress.

The subpoena also ordered Bannon to appear Thursday for a deposition.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, two Trump associates who have also been subpoenaed, are engaged in the investigation, the committee said.

Their depositions, scheduled for this week, have been postponed slightly “as they continue to engage in our investigation,” a select committee aide told CNBC.

Another scheduled statement, that of former White House communications assistant Dan Scavino, has been postponed because service of his subpoena has been delayed, the committee assistant said.

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,” Thompson said Thursday.

“All witnesses are required to provide the information they have so that the committee can know the facts,” he added, noting that many others are complying with his panel’s subpoenas and producing documents. on time.

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