House votes to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress

  • In Politics
  • 2021-10-21 20:42:46Z

WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives voted Thursday to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.

Bannon, who served as White House chief strategist for the first few months of the Donald Trump's presidency, ignored subpoenas from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. The Select Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to hold Bannon in congressional contempt.

The full House voted 229-202 with all Democrats voting in favor, and most Republicans voting against.

House GOP leadership was urging members Wednesday to vote against the vote, but nine Republicans voted to hold Bannon in contempt. That included Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who both serve on the Jan. 6 committee.

Other Republicans included Michigan Reps. Fred Upton and Peter Meijer, Rep. John Katko of New York, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

More: Steve Bannon held in contempt of Congress. The last time such charges were successfully prosecuted? Watergate

More: Liz Cheney, 9 other House Republicans voted to impeach Trump: Who do they face in 2022 midterms?

Many of the Republicans who voted "yes" on Thursday also voted to impeach Trump in January for his role in the insurrection attempt. But three Republicans who voted to impeach Trump voted against holding Bannon in contempt: Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., and Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif.

Mace and Fitzpatrick did not vote to impeach Trump.

Rep. Greg Pence, R-Ind., brother of former Vice President Mike Pence who was specifically targeted by rioters on Jan. 6, did not vote.

After the vote, Cheney told reporters outside the Capitol that the nine Republican votes reflect "the fact that this should not be a partisan issue and that people recognize that what happened on January 6 can't go uninvestigated, and that when Congress issues a subpoena, you can't simply fail to comply."

More: Representatives erupt at committee hearing on holding Bannon in contempt: 'Blah, blah, blah'

Now that the House has passed the contempt report recommended by the committee, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will recommend it to the Justice Department, which has final say on whether to prosecute Bannon.

Attorney General Merrick Garland made no commitment Thursday to pursue criminal charges against Bannon, but in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, vowed to "apply the facts and law consistent with the principles of prosecution" should the Trump adviser's fate fall to the Justice Department.

More: Attorney General Merrick Garland vows to apply 'facts and the law' if Steve Bannon contempt referred to DOJ

Bannon could face fines and possible jail time.

Lawmakers want to know about any communications Bannon had with Trump in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 riot, which occurred as lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence gathered in a special session to formally count the Electoral College votes that established Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Subpoena documents also note that on his radio show, Bannon said on Jan. 5 that "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow."

Bannon was not a White House staffer on or before Jan. 6, having left the administration years earlier, but he is still claiming executive privilege from Trump as his reasoning of why he is not cooperating with the subpoenas from the committee.

Contributing: Kevin Johnson

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Steve Bannon held in contempt on House vote over Jan. 6 subpoenas


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