Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. August 20, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

U.S. House edges toward contempt charges against Trump aide Bannon

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives is predicted on Thursday to approve contempt-of-Congress charges against Steve Bannon, a longtime aide to former President Donald Trump, for refusing to cooperate with the probe into the lethal assault on the Capitol.

Bannon has refused to adjust to committee subpoenas searching for paperwork and his testimony, citing Trump’s insistence – disputed by some authorized students – that his communications are protected by the authorized doctrine of govt privilege.

The Democratic-led Choose Committee probing the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of the charges. That arrange the vote within the full House, the place Democrats maintain a slim majority.

Approval will refer the matter to the Division of Justice, the place the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for Washington stated it might consider the problem.

An 1857 regulation, generally known as the contempt of Congress statute, states that the Justice Division has a “duty” to deliver a House contempt quotation earlier than a grand jury.

However the Justice Division traditionally has stated it makes the last word determination about whether or not to prosecute people who defy congressional subpoenas. The final profitable prosecution for contempt of Congress was in 1974 when a choose discovered Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy responsible of the offense.

Most congressional Republicans opposed making a fee to analyze the occasions surrounding Jan. 6, when 1000’s of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol after his fiery speech urging them to protest his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden within the November 2020 election that he falsely claims was “stolen.”

Solely two Republicans – Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – are on the nine-member Choose Committee. All 4 Republican members of the Guidelines Committee voted no on Wednesday when the matter got here earlier than that panel, which is liable for setting the phrases of debate for Thursday’s vote.

The 4 have been additionally among the many 139 House Republicans who voted on Jan. 6 against certifying Biden’s election victory, even after the assault on the Capitol.

Consultant Tom Cole, the principles panel’s high Republican, stated the contempt referral is a part of a punitive course of that won’t assist the Choose Committee acquire data.

The Choose Committee’s actions “are a complete assault on Americans’ liberties,” stated Consultant Jim Jordan, a Republican who testified against the contempt suggestion on the guidelines listening to.

4 folks died on the day of the assault, and one Capitol police officer died the subsequent day of accidents sustained in protection of the seat of presidency. A whole lot of law enforcement officials have been injured and 4 have since taken their very own lives.

Trump has continued to insist falsely that his defeat was the results of fraud. A number of courts, state election officers and members of Trump’s personal administration have rejected that declare.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Extra reporting by Jan Wolfe; Modifying by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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