The House committee tasked with investigating January’s Capitol riots announced Thursday it has scheduled a vote on whether or not to recommend criminal contempt charges against former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. That vote is set for next Tuesday.
The announcement comes after Bannon defied a subpoena issued to him by the committee. A deposition had been schedule for Thursday, but Bannon’s lawyer said Former President Trump had directed Bannon not to comply, citing information that was potentially protected by executive privileges afforded to a president.
“Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President’s insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson said in a statement. “The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas.”
Bannon also failed to provide documents to the panel before a deadline that was set for last week.
If the committee votes to recommend contempt charges against Bannon, that recommendation would go to the full House. If the House approves, the charges would then go to the Justice Department, which has final say on prosecution.
Right now, it’s unclear whether the department would choose to do anything with contempt charges against Bannon. Committee member and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said he expects the department to act.
“The last four years have given people like Steve Bannon the impression they’re above the law,” Schiff said during an interview for C-SPAN’s Book TV that airs next weekend. “But they’re going to find out otherwise.”
So far, 19 subpoenas have been issued. Other Trump aides who have been subpoenaed appear to be negotiating. A deposition by a second witness, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, that had been scheduled for Thursday was delayed. However, a committee aide who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity said Patel is still engaging with the committee.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and longtime Trump social media director Dan Scavino were scheduled for depositions Friday. Those have also been delayed. Meadows, like Patel, has been given a “short postponement” as he is also engaging with the panel, according to that same aide.