The 1/6 Committee isn’t playing along with Bannon and Trump’s executive privilege con, and they are not going to give Steve Bannon a public platform.
His decision is a remarkable about-face for Mr. Bannon, who until Saturday had been among the most obstinate and defiant of the committee’s potential witnesses. He had promised to turn the criminal case against him into the “misdemeanor from hell” for the Justice Department.
Mr. Bannon’s trial on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress is set for July 18. Each count carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.
It remains to be seen how Mr. Bannon’s new posture will affect the criminal proceeding, and how forthcoming he will be. He could refuse to speak about certain topics, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, as some other witnesses have done.
Bannon may come to the Committee and plead the Fifth on everything. Lawyers and experts believed that Steve Bannon and Trump were trying to establish a foundation for a bogus executive privilege claim by Trump.
It is unclear what Steve Bannon will say or if he will agree to say anything, but the Committee isn’t playing games with him. Steve Bannon will not get a public forum to defend Donald Trump. Bannon’s deposition will be taken in private behind closed doors.
Steve Bannon probably hopes that the Justice Department will drop the case against him if he testifies, but that is not how contempt of Congress works.
Bannon is looking at a criminal conviction, and when push came to shove, he backed down.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association