Lock him up: Capitol riot committee approves referral of criminal charges for Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon (Photo: Screen capture)

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots on Tuesday unanimously approved a referral of criminal charges against former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said ahead of the vote that Bannon had "chosen a path toward criminal contempt" and warned other Capitol riot committee witnesses to not follow in his footsteps.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice chair of the committee, similarly emphasized that Bannon has "no right" to defy lawful congressional subpoenas.

The vote comes one day after the committee issued a report and resolution recommending a referral of criminal charges for Bannon, who so far has defied its subpoenas ordering his testimony.

The committee's report began by detailing the reasons it is seeking Bannon's testimony.

"Mr. Bannon appears to have had multiple roles relevant to this investigation, including his role in constructing and participating in the 'stop the steal' public relations effort that motivated the attack, his efforts to plan political and other activity in advance of January 6th, and his participation in the events of that day from a 'war room' organized at the Willard InterContinental Washington D.C. Hotel," the committee explained. "Although he was a private citizen not employed by the White House at the time, he reportedly spoke with Mr. Trump directly regarding the plans for January 6th on at least one occasion."

The committee then outlined the legal statute that it says "makes clear that a witness summoned before Congress must appear or be 'deemed guilty of a misdemeanor' punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment for up to 1 year."