The walls may be closing in again on Steve Bannon, once upon a time the chief strategist to former president Donald Trump. On Monday night, the select committee looking into the Jan. 6 Capitol riots issued a 26-page contempt report, outlining Bannon’s failure to comply with a subpoena the panel had issued him. Bannon “had specific knowledge about the events planned for January 6th before they occurred,” according to the report. Comments made during appearances on multiple podcasts on Jan. 5—“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” for instance—indicate as much. Bannon’s “testimony and document production” are therefore considered “critical” to the investigation. The report recommended that the House hold Bannon in “contempt of Congress.” The direction, if acted upon, would kickstart a lengthy legal process seeking to bring criminal charges against Bannon.
Bannon’s lawyer said in a letter released earlier this month that his client would not be cooperating with the investigation, as he had executive privilege that protected him from having to testify and hand over documents. That argument was “wholly without merit,” according to the panel’s report, because Bannon was a private citizen during the period from which the committee is seeking information so that executive privilege did not extend to him. Bannon “relied,” it read, “on no legal authority to support his refusal to comply in any fashion.” The committee is due to meet on Tuesday, when they will vote on the report's recommendation.