House Votes to Hold Steve Bannon in Contempt for Defying January 6 Committee Subpoena

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court in the New York City, August 20, 2020. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

The House of Representatives voted to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress on Thursday, a week after Bannon defied a subpoena by the select committee on the January 6 Capitol riot.

By a margin of 229-202, representatives voted to hold Bannon in contempt, referring the case to the Justice Department for potential prosecution. The January 6 committee subpoenaed Bannon for records of communications in the lead-up to the riot.

Nine Republicans voted in favor of the measure, including seven who voted to impeach former President Trump following the riot.

Charges of criminal contempt of Congress could be difficult to pursue.

“Since at least the Reagan Administration, there has not been a successful prosecution under the criminal contempt statute,” Thomas Spulak, a former House legal counsel, told Politico on Tuesday. “There are institutional considerations involving DOJ, one of which is whether Garland wants to be drawn into a continuation of the Trump Administration subpoena battles.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.