Former President Donald Trump, left, and Rep. Liz Cheney. Getty
The select committee investigating January 6 met Tuesday night to discuss Steve Bannon.
The former White House advisor has refused to comply with a subpoena to testify.
By a unanimous vote, the bipartisan committee voted to hold Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress.
Former White House advisor Steve Bannon’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation into the January 6 insurrection suggests that he and former President Donald Trump worked together to plan the day’s actions, Rep. Liz Cheney said on Tuesday.
The comments came during a meeting of the House select committee looking into the January 6 attack, which sought to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
“Based on the committee’s investigation, it appears that Mr. Bannon had substantial advanced knowledge of the plans for January 6 and likely had an important role in formulating those plans,” Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, said at the meeting.
A day before the unrest, Bannon told viewers of his online show that “all hell is going to break loose,” as detailed in a report released this month by the committee. “It’s not going to happen like you think it’s going to happen,” he said, adding that “it’s going to be quite extraordinarily different. All I can say is, strap in.”
Bannon has refused to comply with the committee’s subpoena to testify, citing the argument from Trump’s legal team that the matters under consideration were subject to “executive privilege,” the principle that frank conversations between the president and his aides are not typically subject to congressional review.
President Richard Nixon invoked the same privilege during the Watergate scandal, an argument that was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court. In its ruling, the high court said the privilege was not “absolute” and not necessarily applicable to criminal proceedings.
Cheney argued that Bannon and Trump’s invocations of executive privilege “appear to reveal one thing: They suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6, and this committee will get to the bottom of that.”
By a unanimous vote, the bipartisan committee recommended Tuesday that Bannon be held in criminal contempt of Congress.
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