A congressional committee investigating the Capitol riots did not give special treatment to a former presidential adviser on Oct. 18.
The House Select Committee turned down Steve Bannon’s request for executive privilege. This means President Donald Trump’s long-time adviser must cooperate with investigations into the deadly January 6 attack.
If Bannon continues to be uncooperative he could be charged with contempt of Congress, and referred to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia for prosecution. The charge carries a maximum $100,000 fine and penalty of one year in prison.
“[Bannon] relied on no legal authority to support his refusal to comply in any fashion,” the committee said in a report obtained by Reuters. “[He] had some foreknowledge about extreme events that would occur.”
The committee accuses the former adviser of playing “many roles” in the riot, including building and participating in a public relations effort to “stop the steal.”
“All hell is going to break loose … so many people said, ‘Man, if I was in a revolution, I would be in Washington,'” Bannon allegedly said in a January 5 podcast according to the newswire agency. “Well, this is your time in history.”
The phrase “Stop The Steal” refers to Trump’s claim that successor Joe Biden won due to widespread election fraud. Multiple courts, state election officials, and disloyal members of Trump’s administration have dismissed those allegations.
Bannon’s attorney previously stressed his client would not cooperate with the committee until Trump’s request for executive privilege is resolved in court or a settlement agreement.
Thousands of protesters entered the Capitol building when Congress met to certify Biden’s election victory on Jan. 6. The siege caused several hours of delays while then Vice President Mike Pence, Congress members, staff, and journalists fled the scene. Up to 600 suspects face criminal charges.