House Votes To hold Bannon in Contempt of Congress

On Thursday, 21st October, the House of Representatives voted to withhold one of closest allies of the precedent President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, in a criminal flame following his opposition to summoning from the committee which is inspecting the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

How many Republicans voted to pass the resolution?

The vote was 229-202. Along with all 220 Democrats, nine Republicans also voted to sanction the resolution: House Select Committee Vice-Chair Liz Cheney, Reps. Nancy Mace, Adam Kinzinger, Fred Upton, John Katko, Peter Meijer, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Jaime Herrera Beutler.

The brother of former Vice President Mike Pence Representative Greg Pence, who was administering the electoral vote count on 6th January did not extend his vote.

Reprimanding individuals refuse to cooperate

The step marked a considerable upswing into what extent Democrats are interested to go to reprimanding those individuals who refuse to assist since the House select committee inspects the aggressive attack that aimed to revoke the outcomes of the presidential election of 2020.

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The vote from the full house to withhold Bannon in illegal contempt of Congress establishes a referral to the Justice Department and the same will help in deciding further whether to subpoena.

On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that the department of justice would review any recommendation but during the House Judiciary Committee hearing, he did not give any hints on what decision would be taken by the Department of Justice.

Garland stated, “The Department of Justice will do what it always does in such circumstances, we’ll apply the facts and the law and make a decision, consistent with the principles of prosecution.”

Previously in the afternoon, the House gave their vote to accept the rule giving for consideration of the flame resolution. The rule was sanctioned upon a vote of 221 to 205 given by a wide party-line with merely two Republicans coming together with Democrats to extend their vote in favor.

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On Thursday Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, who is the chairman of the House committee said that “This isn’t about punishing Steve Bannon,” adding further “But Steve Bannon has led us down this path by refusing to cooperate in any way with our investigation.”

He further said “We need to take a stand for the select committee’s investigation and the integrity of this body. What sort of precedent would it set for the House of Representatives if we allow a witness to ignore us flat out without facing any kind of consequences?”

Contempt of Congress
Contempt of Congress

Earlier, Bannon had said in an argument that he is not able to provide any cooperation to the committee until or unless the matters of executive advantage are settled by the court.

As said by his attorney to the committee that “the executive privileges belong to President Trump” further adding “we must accept his direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege.”

What are the further steps after the vote?

After the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supposed to authenticate the report for the District of Columbia to the United States attorney. As per law, this authentication then seeks the United States attorney to “bring the matter before the grand jury for its action,” yet the department of justice will also make its conclusion for summons. 

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Any person who is discovered to be responsible for contempt of Congress would be booked for a crime that may have consequences for which the culprit will be liable for a fine and may also be sentenced for imprisonment from one to twelve months. But this procedure is very less likely to invoke and stretch to prison.

Withholding Bannon in a criminal flame from a summon might take several years and if we take into consideration past cases like that, such kinds of criminal contempt cases have been halted from appeals and discharges.

So consequently, the prosecution of criminal cases of the House may be more about setting an example out of Bannon and about warning every other prospective witness.

On Tuesday Thompson stated “I want our witnesses to understand something very plainly. If you are thinking of following the path Mr. Bannon has gone down you are on notice that this is what you’ll face,”

A stark partisan divide

The wide majority of the Republicans of the House expressed their dissent for the attempts to Bannon in contempt of Congress, keeping aside the matters regarding dropping the future charge authority of the institution and denying allegations that they are making attempts to restrict Democrats from reaching to the core of the January 6 outbreak.

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Kevin McCarthy, who is the House Minority Leader when questioned on Thursday regarding whether he is okay with the individual opposing congressional summons and, in this context, he answered that the January 6 select committees summon of Bannon is “invalid.”

McCarthy said “He has the right to go to the court to see if he has executive privilege or not. I don’t know if he does or not, but neither does the committee.” He further added, “So they’re weakening the power of Congress itself by issuing invalid subpoenas.”

What allegation has been made by Cheney?

On Thursday, Cheney, who is one of two Republicans of the special committee, slammed her mates for defending and saving Bannon. She said “There are people in this chamber right now who were with me and with the rest of us on that day during that attack. People who now seem to have forgotten the danger of the moment, the assault on the Constitution, the assault on our Congress. People who you will hear arguments that there is simply no legislative purpose for this committee for this investigation or this subpoena,” she said.

She said that the precedent President already has an idea about the riot scheduled to happen and even after knowing he doesn’t rush to take any action to prevent it.

She added “President Trump knew it was happening. Indeed, he may have been watching it all unfold on television. And yet he took no immediate action to stop it.”

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