WASHINGTON, DC – On October 21st, nine House Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting to hold former President Trump White House strategist Stephen Bannon in contempt of Congress for reportedly ignoring a subpoena from the committee investigating the January 6th incident at the Capitol.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 22, 2021
The nine Republicans who strayed from the party are as follows:
- Liz Cheney
- Brian Fitzpatrick
- Anthony Gonzalez
- Jaime Herrera Beutler
- John Katko
- Adam Kinzinger
- Nancy Mace
- Peter Meijer
- Fred Upton
Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger are the only Republicans on the January 6th committee. The two were also the only Republicans who voted in favor of establishing the aforementioned committee this past June.
It’s of little surprise that all but two of the nine Republicans, Reps. Fitzpatrick and Mace, who voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress, also voted alongside Democrats to impeach former President Trump in connection with the January 6th incident at the Capitol.
These nine turncoats-in-practice from the Republican party voted as such despite House Minority Whip Steve Scalise advising Republicans to vote “no” on referring Bannon to the DOJ for criminal prosecution on October 20th.
House Minority Whip Scalise’s message to GOP House members stressed that the January 6th committee seems “more interested in pursuing a partisan agenda to politicize the January 6th attack rather than conducting a legitimate good faith investigation into the security failures leading up to and on that day.”
The January 6th committee is trying to obtain Bannon’s testimony regarding his role in planning the rally that preceded the Capitol incident. Still, Bannon has declined, citing a lawsuit filed by former President Trump asserting executive privilege over documents from his tenure in the White House.
With respect to the lawsuit filed by former President Trump that Bannon cited in his defense of defying the committee’s subpoena, it’s not exactly clear how well the argument of executive privilege will fair in court.
While the former president has a stronger case with invoking executive privilege with respect to shielding certain documents requested by the January 6th committee contained within the National Archive, Bradley Moss, a lawyer specializing in national security law, says that shielding testimony from individuals is unclear regarding the Presidential Records Act:
“Mr. Trump’s ability to invoke executive privilege with respect to testimony, as opposed to records, is even weaker, as the PRA does not truly encompass the issue.”
One of the Republicans who voted in favor of holding Bannon in contempt, Rep. Meijer, took to Twitter following the vote on October 21st, claiming that Bannon has no such ability to invoke any executive privilege:
“Mr. Bannon refused to comply with a valid subpoena by a duly-formed committee, claiming broad exec privilege. There is no conceivable interpretation of exec privilege that applies to someone outside of gov’t, conferring with senior gov’t officials on non-official matters.”
Holding individuals who refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas in contempt is the sole recourse available to Congress to protect its power of inquiry (McGrain v Daugherty). I voted today to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress to protect this power. (2/2)
— Rep. Peter Meijer (@RepMeijer) October 21, 2021
“Holding individuals who refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas in contempt is the sole recourse available to Congress to protect its power of inquiry (McGrain v Daugherty). I voted today to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress to protect this power.”
This piece was written by Gregory Hoyt on October 22, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.
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