The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to refer Steve Bannon to the Department of Justice for possible criminal contempt charges. Bannon is accused of ducking a congressional subpoena to testify and turn over documents relating to what he knew “about the events planned for January 6th before they occurred,” according to a contempt report. The resolution passed largely along party lines, 229-202.
House Republicans whipped hard against the vote, with GOP leadership calling the committee's subpoena “invalid,” because the panel “does not get to step into the shoes of law enforcement.” But nine Republicans crossed the aisle, including Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who both served on the Jan. 6 select committee that summoned Bannon. Reps. Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan, John Katko (R-NY), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Nancy Mace (R-SC), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) joined them.
The DOJ will now consider bringing charges against Bannon, after which Attorney General Merrick Garland may be compelled to haul the former Trump chief strategist before a grand jury. Of the four former Trump aides and nearly a dozen “Stop the Steal” rally organizers subpoenaed by the committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said that Bannon was the only one who “totally ignored the process.” He “stands alone in his defiance and we will not stand for it,” Thompson said. “We need to make it clear no person is above the law.”