Steve Bannon, who was President Trump’s former White House chief strategist, spoke to Trump in December, urging him to focus on January 6 – the date of the Electoral College’s official certification of the vote by Congress, according to authors Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their book “Peril”.
“We’re going to bury Biden on January 6,” Bannon reportedly said.
Woodward and Costa also reported that Trump called Bannon following his controversial Jan.6 meeting with then-vice president Mike Pence, in which the vice president said he didn’t no power to block Joe Biden’s certification of victory.
In its letter to Bannon, the committee cites communications it had with Trump on December 30, 2020, “and potentially other occasions” in which Bannon allegedly urged the former president “to plan and focus his efforts on January 6 “. The committee also refers to Bannon’s inflammatory comments on his podcast on January 5, in which he said “hell is going to break loose tomorrow”.
The committee announced last week that it was moving forward to detain Bannon on criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena.
“Mr Bannon refused to cooperate with the select committee and instead hides behind the former president’s insufficient, general and vague statements about the privileges he purported to invoke,” said Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, who chairs the committee, in a press release. statement Thursday.
The committee sent a letter to Bannon on Friday rejecting his argument for failing to comply with his subpoena and denying his request for executive privilege, particularly in relation to his communications with people other than Trump, according to a copy obtained by CNN.
Bannon has previously argued that he is unable to cooperate with the committee until questions of executive privilege are resolved by the courts, but Friday’s response makes it clear that the panel believes his “deliberate denial to comply with the summons is a violation of federal law. ”
The committee voted on Tuesday to adopt a contempt of Bannon report, which describes his efforts to get the witness to comply with the summons and the witness’s failure to do so. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the entire House would vote on the report for criminal contempt on Thursday and that after it passed in the House it would then be referred to the Department of Justice.
Remember: Anyone found guilty of contempt of Congress is then guilty of a crime that can lead to a fine and between one and 12 months in prison. Holding Bannon for criminal contempt through prosecution could take years, however, and historic cases of criminal contempt have been derailed with appeals and acquittals.
Read more about Bannon’s actions on January 6 here.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Annie Grayer contributed reporting for this post.
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