WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has moved aggressively against Trump adviser Steve Bannon, swiftly scheduling a vote to recommend criminal contempt charges against the former White House aide after he defied a subpoena.
The chairman of the special committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the panel will vote Tuesday to recommend charges against Bannon, an adviser to Donald Trump for years who was in touch with the president ahead of the most serious assault on Congress in two centuries. And late Friday, President Joe Biden said he thinks his Justice Department should prosecute.
“The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas,” Thompson said in a statement Thursday. Bannon, he said, is “hiding behind the former president’s insufficient, blanket and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke. We reject his position entirely.”
If approved by the Democratic-majority committee, the recommendation of criminal charges would go to the full House. Approval there would send them to the Justice Department, which has final say on prosecution.
Asked if the Justice Department should prosecute those who refuse to testify, Biden said yes.
“I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable,” Biden told reporters Friday at the White House.
A spokesman for the Justice Department, Anthony Coley, said after Biden’s comments that “the Department of J