The report will also detail the committee’s efforts to secure Bannon’s cooperation with his subpoena and his refusal to cooperate with the investigation.
Investigators announced subpoenas for Bannon and three other former Trump administration aides on September 23. Last week, Trump told the four men to stiffen the committee, as POLITICO first reported, but the committee said two of those former assistants, Kash Patel and Mark Meadows, were in contact with investigators. Bannon’s lawyer, however, told the committee he will not comply with the summons.
Forcing him to comply will be a major test for the committee, signaling to many other witnesses how much pressure investigators will exert for cooperation.
Trump released a statement after the announcement calling him “the unselected January 6 committee,” criticizing his latest move and saying “people are not going to support it!” The statement did not specify what actual legal steps Trump might take next.
The outcome of the committee’s vote on contempt of Bannon is anything but inevitable, as members have indicated for weeks that they will likely deploy criminal contempt against recalcitrant witnesses. If the panel approves his contempt, the committee will send the resolution to the House floor for another vote.
If the Plenary Assembly, which is due to meet again next week, votes to despise Bannon – which is also almost certain, as Democrats have a slim majority – then the case will be referred to the U.S. Attorney General in Washington DC for prosecution. criminal.
It is not known if the Department of Justice would act quickly after the action of the House. Attorney General Merrick Garland has not indicated how he would handle these referrals, although he is due to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week and is likely to be in a hurry on the matter.
Acting U.S. Attorney General for Washington DC Channing Phillips is a career public servant who oversaw the Capitol Hill investigation for months. Biden has named a permanent successor for the role, Matthew Graves, but the Senate has yet to confirm this.
If the Justice Department prosecutes Bannon and gets his conviction, he faces up to one year in prison and up to $ 100,000 in fines. He has the opportunity to appeal, and the courts would determine whether to delay the penalties during the appeal process.
Despite the delicate and unpredictable process, committee members say they hope the threat of criminal charges will cause witnesses to cooperate, rather than going through a costly and onerous legal process. These threats have worked to force cooperation in previous congressional investigations, and witnesses rarely attempt to complete the entire criminal process.
But the Jan.6 committee also faces a tight deadline, as it seeks to compile a full report on the attack by the spring.