Former Trump aide Steve Bannon waves and smiles as he exits Federal Court in New York City Aug. 20, 2020. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection will vote on holding former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in criminal contempt if he continues to ignore its subpoena, the panel's chairman said Thursday.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., announced he has scheduled a vote for late Tuesday on whether to adopt a contempt report against Bannon, who had been instructed in a subpoena issued last month to turn over a raft of documents relating to the attack on the Capitol and to appear Thursday for a deposition.
Thompson said last week that Bannon has refused to supply the materials, and after he did not appear for Thursday's scheduled deposition, the chairman announced the vote on a criminal referral.
Former President Donald Trump last week instructed a group of former aides including Bannon, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Daniel Scavino and former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel to defy subpoenas from the committee.
"Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President's insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke," Thompson said in a statement.
"We reject his position entirely. The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt."
The committee, he added, "will use every tool at its disposal to get the information it seeks, and witnesses who try to stonewall the Select Committee will not succeed."
The panel is "moving ahead quickly to get answers for the American people about what happened on January 6th and help secure the future of American democracy," he said.
Wednesday, the committee subpoenaed former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark, who has been cited by Senate investigators as proposing to deliver a letter to state legislators in Georgia and other states encouraging them to delay the certification of their 2020 election results at the bidding of the White House.
The vote to hold Bannon in criminal contempt would make good on threats by the committee to play hardball with Trump aides who refuse to answer questions about the events of Jan. 6.
The ex-aide was reportedly present at a Jan. 5 gathering to convince lawmakers to block the certification where he was quoted as saying "[a]ll hell is going to break loose tomorrow." Reports also state that he spoke with Trump on Dec. 30 and urged him to focus on Jan. 6.
Should the panel vote to hold Bannon in contempt as expected, the resolution would then be sent to the House floor for another vote.
Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police wipes away tears Tuesday as he testifies before members of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pool Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo