Jan. 6 Panel Moves to Recommend Criminal Charges Against Bannon
Information about Jan. 6 Panel Moves to Recommend Criminal Charges Against Bannon
“It’s open contempt of a subpoena without an apparent basis,” said Mr. Robbins, who teaches a course on congressional investigations at Brown University. He called the invocation of executive privilege “patently bogus,” adding, “It’s difficult to imagine it will not be referred for prosecution.”
Once Congress votes to hold Mr. Bannon in contempt, the next step would be to refer the matter to the U.S. attorney in Washington. If the White House determines that no claim of executive privilege applies, the U.S. attorney’s office would then decide whether to bring the case before a grand jury, in consultation with top Justice Department officials.
But if Mr. Bannon were to sue over the issue, the Justice Department would most likely follow past practice and wait for the courts to resolve the lawsuit before bringing the contempt charge before a grand jury, Mr. Shaub said.
In letters transmitting its subpoenas to Mr. Bannon and the three former Trump administration officials, the committee said it was seeking information about the president’s actions in the run-up to and during the riot.
Mr. Bannon reportedly communicated with Mr. Trump on Dec. 30 and urged him to focus his efforts on Jan. 6, the committee said. He was also present at a meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington the day before the violence, when plans were discussed to try to overturn the results of the election the next day, the committee stated. Mr. Bannon was quoted as saying, “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”
On Wednesday, the committee also issued a subpoena to Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who was involved in Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. The committee’s action came the same day it heard lengthy closed-door testimony from Jeffrey A. Rosen, the former acting attorney general, who has testified publicly and privately about the final days of the Trump administration, when the former president was pressing top officials to use the Justice Department to advance false claims of election fraud.
In private testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Rosen said that Mr. Clark had told him that Mr. Trump was getting ready to fire Mr. Rosen and endorse Mr. Clark’s strategy of pursuing conspiracy theories about the hacking of voting booths and fraud.
“Well, I don’t get to be fired by someone who works for me,” Mr. Rosen said he told Mr. Clark.