Steve Bannon, a close advisor to former President Trump, has agreed to testify before the Jan. 6 investigative committee. Bannon previously refused to appear because Trump had invoked executive privilege. But in a letter to the committee, his lawyer says Trump is now waiving that privilege.
The former advisor’s legal team stated he prefers to testify publicly. But a member of the committee said that’s unlikely.
“This goes on for hour after hour after hour. We want to get all our questions answered, and you can’t do that in a live format,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said on CNN’s State of the Union.
The committee argued there was no executive privilege between Trump and Bannon because Bannon was a private citizen and podcaster on Jan. 6, 2021. Bannon served as chief strategist to President Trump in 2017 but has had no official White House role since.
President Trump wrote a letter to Bannon stating that he thinks the hearings have been very one sided and therefore members of his team have been unable to defend themselves.
“If you reach an agreement on a time and place for your testimony, I will waive executive privilege for you, which allows for you to go in and testify truthfully and fairly, as per the request of the unselect committee of political thugs and hacks,” Trump wrote.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) has previously stated that the committee wants to interview Bannon because he has information valuable to their probe and that he was deeply involved in the so-called “stop the steal campaign.”
The committee also wants to ask Bannon about comments he made on his podcast the day before the rally and what he may have known ahead of time.
“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this, all hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” Bannon said on his podcast on Jan. 5, 2021.
Bannon is facing two counts of criminal contempt of Congress and that trial is scheduled to begin Monday, July 18, 2022. There is no word yet as to whether the trial will be delayed or changed because of this new agreement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.