Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, failed to show up for a scheduled testimony before the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Riot on Thursday, clearing the way for the committee to recommend criminal contempt charges against him for defying a subpoena.
“Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President’s insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the panel’s chairman, wrote in a statement. “We reject his position entirely.”
“The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt,” Thompson continued, adding that the panel will convene on Tuesday, Oct. 19, to “on adopting a contempt report.”
Bannon, who briefly served as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President in 2017, was subpoenaed for documents and testimony about his interactions with then-President Trump ahead of the violent siege of the Capitol. An attorney for Bannon said that he would not appear before the panel at Trump’s direction.
A second witness called for a deposition Thursday, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, also will not appear, two sources told The Associated Press, but said that Patel is still engaging with the committee.
Two other Trump aides — former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and longtime Trump social media director Dan Scavino — are scheduled for depositions Friday, but it is unclear whether they will appear. Like Patel, Meadows is speaking with the committee.
This is a developing story. Check back later for further updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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