Steve Bannon, who was a close advisor to Donald Trump in the weeks between the election loss and the failed insurrection, has been avoiding testifying about what he witnessed during this crucial period. He’s been dodging testimony so hard he’s actually facing a criminal trial for contempt of Congress. Now, he says he could consider testifying, but the January 6th Committee doesn’t plan to let him get away with any stunts or tricks.
Bannon’s next court date is days away. In the final stretch, a spokesperson for Donald Trump publicly shared a letter the former president penned to Bannon, telling the podcaster he would “waive Executive Privilege” to allow him to testify, if he can reach an agreement with the January 6th Committee. Legal experts maintain that Bannon does not have any “executive privilege” and doesn’t need any such waiver, and so far no court has disagreed.
Letter from President Donald J Trump to Stephen Bannon. pic.twitter.com/yFAtYCkJRN
— Taylor Budowich (@TayFromCA) July 10, 2022
Now Bannon indicated that he would be willing to testify, but would prefer to do so in a public hearing — seeming to echo Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, who has hinted that doing so would give him an opportunity to provide his side of the story — views that might distract from the Committee’s purpose.
There are already concerns being raised that Bannon would use the opportunity to try to sabatoge the Committeee’s work.
Of course, the January 6th Committee has already considered this possibility, and Jamie Raskin is very clear: they’d like to hear from Bannon, but won’t be providing him with a special platform to spread conspiracy theories or attack the panel.
On fmr. WH Chief Strategist Steve Bannon signaling he's now willing to testify to the Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin says he's "certain" the panel would be interested to hear from him, but adds it would be a taped testimony first, not a live public hearing. pic.twitter.com/KMl7xwucHn
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 10, 2022
“We want everybody’s testimony…if [Bannon] wants to come in, I’m certain that the Committee would be very interested in hearing from him…The way that we have treated every single witness is the same. They come in, they talk to the Committee, if they’re going to take a deposition, they’re sworn under oath, it’s videotaped, it’s recorded, and then we take it from there.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com