Jan. 6 Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., opened a meeting on Tuesday evening where members voted to charge President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon with criminal contempt.
Watch Thompson’s remarks in the player above.
“There isn’t a different set of rules for Mr. Bannon. He knows that,” Thompson said.
Last week, Bannon defied a request from a committee subpoena demanding he hand over documents and provide testimony on his communications with Trump days before hundreds of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building.
“Mr. Bannon will comply with our investigation or he will face the consequences,” Thompson said.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee, presented evidence that Bannon, had “advanced knowledge” of the day’s events.
“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” she read, quoting Bannon’s words one day ahead of the insurrection.
Trump also filed a lawsuit last week to block the release of White House documents requested by the committee. He also directed Bannon and others not to cooperate with the probe.
Cheney asserted that, “Mr. Bannon’s and Mr. Trump’s privilege arguments do appear to reveal one thing, however: They suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th. And we will get to the bottom of that.”
The committee voted unanimously to charge Bannon with criminal contempt in the brief Oct. 19 meeting, sending the contempt resolution to the full House, which is expected to vote on the measure Thursday. House approval would send the matter to the Justice Department, which would then decide whether to pursue criminal charges against Bannon.
The contempt resolution asserts that the former Trump aide and podcast host has no legal standing to rebuff the committee — even as Trump’s lawyer has argued that Bannon should not disclose information because it is protected by the privilege of the former president’s office. The committee noted that Bannon, fired from his White House job in 2017, was a private citizen when he spoke to Trump ahead of the attack. And Trump has not asserted any such executive privilege claims to the panel itself, lawmakers said.