Bannon Says He'll Testify

Jan. 6 committee has 'many questions,' member says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 10, 2022 5:10 PM CDT
Bannon Tells Panel He'll Appear
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon speaks with reporters after departing federal court on Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist and ally of Donald Trump who faces criminal charges after months of defying a congressional subpoena over the Capitol riot, has told the House committee investigating the attack that he is now willing to testify. Bannon's turnabout was conveyed in a letter late Saturday from his attorney, lawmakers said, as the committee prepares to air some of its most striking revelations yet this week against Trump in what may be its final set of hearings. "There are many questions that we have for him," Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren said Sunday, per the AP.

Committee members said they plan to have Bannon sit for a private interview, which they typically conduct in a deposition with sworn testimony. Bannon had been one of the highest-profile Trump-allied holdouts in refusing to testify before the committee, leading to two criminal counts of contempt of Congress last year for resisting the committee's subpoena. He has argued that his testimony is protected by Trump's claim of executive privilege. The committee contends such a claim is dubious, partly because Trump had fired Bannon from the White House in 2017. So Bannon was a private citizen when he was consulting with the then-president in the run-up to the riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

Bannon's trial on the two criminal counts is July 18. A hearing in his case was scheduled for Monday in federal court in Washington. Bannon has been seeking a delay in his trial to at least fall. It's unclear how much he intends to cooperate. Bannon has expressed a preference to appear before the committee in a public hearing, but the panel is making clear he must first sit for a private interview. It's also possible he may opt to appear and then refuse to answer questions, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The committee says it wants to hear from Bannon because he “had specific knowledge about the events planned for Jan. 6 before they occurred.”

(More Jan. 6 hearings stories.)

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