Bannon has failed to comply with a subpoena, and is on track for punishment.
The House committee conducting an investigation into the insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6 has subpoenaed multiple members of the former Trump administration in determining culpability. One of the people who have received a subpoena is former White House chief strategist and close ally to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.
Bannon has been subpoenaed several times now, but has refused to appear or provide requested documentation. Today, the committee moved to officially hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for his failure to comply. A panel will be meeting tonight to discuss the terms of this motion, where it is expected to be met with little if any resistance. If agreed upon, the committee will send a contempt report to Congress for voting. If approved, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will forward the report to the Justice Department for a final decision.
Bannon’s lawyer, Robert Costello, has argued that Bannon cannot be subpoenaed on the grounds of an executive privilege order issued by Trump, and that he is under no obligation to testify without Trump’s go-ahead. “Until such time as you reach an agreement with President Trump or receive a court ruling as to the extent, scope and applications of the executive privilege, in order to preserve the claim of executive and other privileges, Mr. Bannon will not be producing documents or testifying,” Costello said in a letter.
White House Deputy Counsel to the President, Jonathan Su, countered by noting that Bannon was not in any political office during the incident in question, and as such, cannot claim any kind of executive privilege. “As you are aware, Mr Bannon’s tenure as a White House employee ended in 2017,” Su wrote. “To the extent any privileges could apply to Mr. Bannon his conversations with the former president or White House staff after the conclusion of his tenure, President Biden has already determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the public interest, and therefore is not justified with respect to certain subjects within the purview of the Select Committee.”