The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to maintain Steve Bannon, one in all former President Donald Trump’s longtime advisers, in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a congressional inquiry into the January 6 rioting on the U.S. Capitol.
The House voted 229-202, with a handful of Republican lawmakers, together with Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, each members of the panel conducting the investigation, becoming a member of the Democratic majority in the House in voting towards Bannon.
The quotation will now be despatched to the federal prosecutor in Washington for presentation to a grand jury for potential indictment of Bannon. He may, if convicted, be sentenced to up to a year in jail, however contempt of Congress costs are uncommon and infrequently consequence in jail time.
The House debated the contempt quotation for greater than hour earlier than voting. Democrats on the investigative committee argued that Bannon shouldn’t be allowed to ignore their subpoena for his testimony about his function in the mayhem on the Capitol and his conversations with Trump.
“We cannot let this man flout the laws with impunity,” mentioned Representative Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the investigative committee.
Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, one other Democrat, advised lawmakers, “In America, when you’re subpoenaed, you show up. You cannot blow off a subpoena.”
But one Republican opposed to the contempt quotation, Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, contended the committee members have been “abusing their power to put [Bannon] in prison” and accused the panel of conducting “a sham investigation.”
A vocal Trump supporter, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, mentioned the investigation “is really about getting President Trump.”
The riot unfolded 9 months in the past as lawmakers have been certifying that Trump had lost final year’s election to Democrat Joe Biden, who was inaugurated because the nation’s forty sixth president two weeks later.
The committee investigating the riot voted earlier this week to provoke the contempt costs, saying Bannon was the one witness who had fully refused to testify. The committee mentioned Bannon spoke to Trump earlier than the rioting and promoted the January 6 protest, after which about 800 Trump supporters stormed into the Capitol.
Just forward of the rampage, at a rally close to the White House, Trump urged supporters to “fight like hell” to block certification of Biden’s victory. Some of these attendees entered the Capitol, vandalized the constructing, ransacked congressional workplaces and fought with police. More than 600 have been charged with an array of offenses. The chaos left 5 individuals useless.
Trump has sought to stymie the committee’s investigation of what precipitated the rioting and his function in it. He has urged Bannon and different former aides subpoenaed by the committee to reject its requests, claiming govt privilege for White House paperwork. Bannon was Trump’s chief strategist on the White House by way of the primary seven months of 2017 and has remained one in all his most vocal supporters.
Trump filed a lawsuit Monday, alleging the committee made an unlawful, unfounded and overly broad request for his White House data.
Biden’s White House has argued that Trump has no respectable privilege declare.
“The former president’s actions represented a unique — and existential — threat to our democracy that can’t be swept under the rug,” spokesman Michael Gwin mentioned. “The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”
Senate Republicans blocked the creation of an unbiased fee to probe the mayhem, a panel that might have been modeled on the one which investigated the 2001 terrorist assaults on the United States.
In response, the Democratic-controlled House then created the nine-member investigative panel, with seven Democrats, together with Cheney and Kinzinger, each of whom have been vocal Trump critics.
In July, the panel heard vivid, detailed accounts from 4 law enforcement officials who encountered the rioters contained in the Capitol on January 6 however has not heard extra public testimony since then.