Friday, October 22, 2021
No Certification of U . Committee
The US Congress wants to sue Bannon
What did Steve Bannon know about possible preparations for Capitol Storm? The former ultra-conservative Trump strategist is supposed to testify at the committee investigating the attack, but he has not appeared. Now MPs must decide if that has any consequences.
The US House of Representatives paved the way for criminal action against right-wing populist Steve Bannon for ignoring Congress. The background is a reassessment of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to refer the case to the attorney general. Now the Department of Justice has to decide whether to initiate criminal proceedings.
Bannon failed to comply with a subpoena from the Capitol Commission of Inquiry. In the House, which is dominated by Democrats, 229 lawmakers have now voted to take Bannon to court — 202 voted against. The vote largely went along partisan lines. A few Republicans joined in and voted Democrats for President Joe Biden. The commission of inquiry charged with investigating the attack had unanimously adopted a report on Tuesday that concluded Bannon had ignored Congress. This was the first obstacle to bringing Bannon to justice.
The commission, even before it began its work, was the scene of political battles between Democrats and Republicans. Bannon had violated a subpoena before the committee last week. Supporters of former President Donald Trump storm the US Capitol in Washington on January 6. Five people, including a police officer, were killed. Bannon is suspected of having prior knowledge of plans for violent protests. The day before the storming of the Capitol, he said in his podcast, “Tomorrow all hell breaks loose.”
“He knew what was going to happen.”
“He knew what was going to happen before it happened,” Republican Representative Liz Cheney said before the vote. You and Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger are the only Republican members of the committee. Both are outspoken critics of Trump and thus have lost favor with Republicans. “There are people in this room that were evacuated that day, during this attack, with me and us,” Cheney said. “People who now seem to have forgotten the danger of this moment.” Bannon has no right to ignore the subpoena.
Bannon, a former Trump administration strategist, is invoking the president’s right to withhold certain information from Congress or the courts — the so-called executive privilege. Trump’s lawyer had turned to Bannon and other subpoenas a few weeks earlier and entered an executive lien. Bannon’s lawyer then confirmed that he would not send any documents or make any statements as long as the open questions were not clarified.
“He’s a bogeyman for the Democratic Party,” complained Republican Jim Banks. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, had rejected her membership in the committee. He is a staunch supporter of Trump. “The Special Committee despises Steve Bannon’s policies. So they are abusing their power to put him in jail,” he said. Bannon is one of the most influential voices in the ultra-conservative camp in American politics. He is one of the founders of the Internet platform “Breitbart”.
According to observers, Bannon’s impeachment for ignoring Congress is unlikely to have serious consequences. It is true that there is a risk of imprisonment and a fine – but such a measure can last for years and may not lead to anything due to an appeal or acquittal. “We will (…) make a decision consistent with law enforcement principles,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said before voting on his actions in the case.