The indictment of Steve Bannon was met with a threat from Donald Trump’s congressional allies and top GOP supporters that it would be payback time once they retake the House. But the path to vengeance would not be an easy one
Bannon and Contempt Charges
Stephen Kevin Bannon is an American media executive, political strategist, and former investment banker who served as the White House’s chief strategist during President Donald Trump’s first seven months in office.
He formerly served on the board of Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct data-analytics firm, and was the former executive chairman of Breitbart News. After departing the White House, Bannon criticized the Republican Party establishment and supported insurgent candidates in Republican primary races.
Bannon was charged with two counts of contempt on Friday for failing to comply with a committee order to produce any records and testify about the assault.
In August 2020, Bannon and three others were arrested and charged in connection with the We Build the Wall campaign with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering. Despite pledging that all contributions would go toward erecting a wall, the defendants allegedly profited themselves.
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Before his trial, Bannon pleaded not guilty and was pardoned by Trump. After suggesting that top government infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be decapitated, Bannon’s Twitter account was permanently terminated in November 2020.
In October 2021, Bannon was found in contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena issued by a House of Representatives committee investigating the 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.
On November 12, 2021, he was charged by a federal grand jury on two counts of criminal contempt and surrendered himself to authorities three days later.
Biden Waiving the Executive Privilege Claims Fuels the Republicans
After getting charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a subpoena from the House’s Jan.
6 select committee, Bannon turned himself in. To avoid testifying, Bannon cited executive privilege and some other protections but Bannon was left exposed for defying investigators after President Joe Biden waived those claims.
And Republicans were enraged by Biden’s delay of Bannon’s testimony to Congress – within hours of the indictment, Trump’s top GOP supporters were explicitly suggesting that a future GOP-led House would use the threat of criminal prosecution to compel Biden’s aides to testify.
Republicans have indicated that they want to hear from the president’s closest advisers on the shambolic Afghan drawdown, border migration, and the Justice Department’s crackdown on threats against school board members.
Ohio Representative Jim Jordan tweeted that the Republicans were eager to hear testimonies of some of the Democrats when the Republicans would take back the House
What Makes This Indictment Different?
The case of Steve Bannon may or may not have any influence on the GOP’s excitement for bringing in Vice President Joe Biden.
Legal experts say the Bannon indictment stands out from nearly every other contempt of Congress charge in recent memory, from his brazen defiance to his flimsy claim of executive privilege, which is meant to protect presidential conversations with top advisers, not a private citizen’s assistance for a former president attempting to overturn election results.
Jamie Raskin, a member of the select committee says that the former president’s claim of executive privilege was an absurd attempt and had no legal basis.
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Although at the time when the Republicans are planning the big oversight, that is 2023, Biden would still be the President of the United States and he could still waive privilege. McClanahan says that when you give, a President, an authority, you should be prepared for a time when the authority will be handed to someone you do not like.
What happens if the Republicans take back the House? There is only one way to find out.