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Capitol insurrection: House Committee member rips into Steve Bannon's reasons to defy subpoena
The House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection is set to take a vote on the criminal referral on Steve Bannon, a close aide to twice-impeached former President Donald Trump. A member of the bipartisan panel ripped into Bannon’s reasoning to defy the committee’s subpoena.
Speaking on CNN Monday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who is on the bipartisan committee, ripped into Bannon’s reasoning of being shielded by executive privilege claimed by the former president for him not to comply with the committee’s subpoena. Lofgren explained that Bannon’s invocation of executive privilege at a time when he was no longer working for the Trump administration would have no merit and, therefore, would not apply. The White House has also waived the former president’s executive privilege claims.
“His claim of executive privilege is just really a stretch. First, he was not even an employee of the White House or the federal government and so would not ordinarily be covered by any executive privilege claim. Further, even if that weren’t the case, we want to talk to him about conversations he had. The plot that he may have held with other people, with organizers in the political arena. With political figures. Both in Congress and in state legislatures. That has nothing to do with his communications with the former president,” explained Lofgren.
Lofgren further issued a warning to Bannon that the committee’s patience has worn thin with him as they vote to hold the former Trump adviser in contempt. The report would then be brought to the Democratic-controlled House for a vote before it is brought to the DOJ.
The White House has once again made clear that Trump’s executive privilege claims are not applicable in the ongoing investigation. This also comes as the disgraced former president filed a lawsuit against the committee and the National Archives in an attempt to withhold records from his White House on January 6. The White House reiterated that it plans to turn over the records to the panel.
“Former President Trump abused the office of the presidency and attempted to subvert a peaceful transfer of power,” said the statement. “The former president’s actions represented a unique -- and existential -- threat to our democracy that can’t be swept under the rug. As President Biden determined, the constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”