On Friday, The Washington Post reported that former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, a key witness sought by the House January 6 Committee, could finally back down from stonewalling and testify to the committee.
This comes as Trump is weighing signing a letter that would waive executive privilege for Bannon — which Bannon has used as his excuse for refusing to testify.
"The letter would reiterate that Trump invoked executive privilege in September 2021, when Bannon was first subpoenaed by the House committee," reported Isaac Stanley-Becker, Josh Dawsey and Jacqueline Alemany. "But it would say that the former president is now willing to give up that claim — which has been disputed — if Bannon can reach an agreement on the terms of an appearance before the panel. The letter was described by three people familiar with it, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity."
"The committee has argued that claims of executive privilege are not valid for Bannon, who was a private citizen at the time of Jan. 6, 2021," noted the report. "The committee has also said that Bannon, an outspoken advocate of false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, was required to respond to the subpoena in some way — citing claims of privilege on a question-by-question basis instead of by refusing to respond."
Bannon was indicted for contempt of Congress after refusing to cooperate with the committee. His trial is set to begin July 18, pending resolution of Bannon's motions to delay the proceedings.
The House of Representatives also made criminal contempt referrals against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Trump adviser Dan Scavino. However, the Justice Department declined to bring charges in those cases, as Meadows and Scavino provided at least partial information to the committee while Bannon had refused to cooperate in any way.