Steve Bannon news: Former Trump White House strategist now willing to testify before Jan. 6 committee

WASHINGTON — Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist and Donald Trump ally who faces criminal charges after months of defying a congressional subpoena into the Capitol riots, has told the House Inquiry Committee that he is now ready , to testify.

The video shown is from a previous report.

Bannon’s about-face was announced in a letter from his attorney late Saturday, lawmakers said, as the committee prepares to release some of its most striking revelations against Trump yet this week in what may be its final hearings.

“I expect we will hear from him and there are many questions we have for him,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. She and other committee members said in television interviews Sunday they intend to take Bannon for a private interview, which they normally do in affidavit testimony.

Bannon had been one of the Trump allies’ highest profile when he refused to testify before the committee, which led to two criminal charges of contempt of Congress last year for defying the committee’s subpoena. He has argued that his testimony is protected by Trump’s claim to executive privilege. The committee finds such a claim dubious because Trump fired Bannon from the White House in 2017, making Bannon a private citizen when he consulted with the then-President ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, riots.

In recent days, as the former president grew increasingly frustrated with what he described as a one-sided presentation by the committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans, Trump said he would waive that privilege claim, according to a letter Saturday to Bannon’s attorney .

“If you reach an agreement on the time and place for your testimony, I will waive executive privilege for you to go in and testify truthfully and fairly, as is the request of the unelected Committee of Political Thugs and Hackers. ‘ Trump wrote.

Thursday night’s committee hearing will examine the more than three-hour stretch when Trump failed to act as a mob of supporters stormed the Capitol. It will be the first prime-time hearing since debuting on June 9 to be seen by 20 million people.

RELATED: White House Counsel’s Jan. 6 interview with Trump did not contradict other witnesses: US Rep. Kinzinger

A hearing on Tuesday will focus on the conspiracy and planning of the riot by white nationalist groups such as the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters, and also highlight testimony provided by former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone on Friday became.

It comes after surprising testimony last month from former Trump White House adviser Cassidy Hutchinson, which provided the most compelling evidence yet that Trump could be linked to a federal crime. Since then, the committee has seen an influx of new information and confidential leads.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., suggested that Bannon “had a change of heart, and after presumably seeing all these people, including Cassidy Hutchinson, he’s decided he wants to come in, and if he wants I’m me.” sure the committee would be very interested in hearing from him.”

Bannon’s trial on the two counts will take place on July 18. A hearing in his case was scheduled for Monday in a federal court in Washington. Bannon has attempted to delay his trial to at least fall.

It’s unclear how much Bannon wants to cooperate. He has expressed his preference to appear before the committee at a public hearing. The committee makes it clear that he must first sit down for a private interview, typically in an affidavit. It’s also possible that he chooses to appear and then refuses to answer questions, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

“The way we’ve handled every single witness is the same, they come in, they talk to the committee there,” Raskin said. “If they want to make a statement, they are sworn under oath. It is recorded on video. It’s recorded and then we take it from there.”

The committee says it wants to hear from Bannon because he “had special knowledge of the events scheduled for January 6 before they took place.” Comments he made on his podcast the day before the uprising were cited as an example.

RELATED: Not prosecuting Trump for Jan. 6 would fuel a ‘much more serious threat,’ says Liz Cheney

“It’s not going to happen the way you think it’s going to happen. OK, it’s going to be extraordinarily different. All I can say is buckle up,” Bannon said on that podcast. “Tomorrow all hell will break loose. … So many people said, ‘Man, if I was in a revolution, I’d be in Washington.’ Well, that’s your time in history.”

House investigators have delved deeper into the evidence gathered so far about the role extremist groups played in the deadly riot and what Trump was doing as the violence erupted down the street from the White House.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who will host Thursday’s hearing with Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va. described the forthcoming testimony as key to providing a comprehensive timeline of what Trump did and did not do during those critical hours on the afternoon of January 6, 2021. This includes Trump’s tweet, in which he accused Vice President Mike Pence of a lack of “courage.” criticized as angry protesters outside the Capitol chanted “Hang Mike Pence” for failing to challenge Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

“We want to show the American people what the President did during this time,” Kinzinger said on Sunday. “The rest of the country knew there was an uprising. The President obviously must have known there was a riot. So where was he? What has he done? It’s a very important hearing. Pay attention. Because I think it goes to the heart of what a leader’s oath is.”

Tuesday’s hearing will examine efforts to rally the mob on the National Mall and then organize the march down Pennsylvania Avenue, where some rioters – armed with whistles, bats and bear spray – stormed into the Capitol and quickly overran the overwhelmed police force . More than 100 police officers were injured that day, many beaten, bleeding and bruised.

It will also highlight a December 18, 2020 meeting at the White House where former Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, and others floated the idea of ​​seizing voting machines and to invoke emergency national security powers. to the fierce objection of several White House attorneys who argued that Trump must accept defeat, said Raskin, who will chair Tuesday’s hearing.

“We will be able to use a lot of testimony from Mr. Cipollone,” he said. “He was, I think, aware of every major step Donald Trump took to try to overthrow the 2020 election and essentially take over the presidency.”

Kinzinger spoke on ABC’s This Week, Lofgren was on CNN’s State of the Union, and Raskin appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation.


Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhut, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Steve Bannon news: Former Trump White House strategist now willing to testify before Jan. 6 committee

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