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Lawmakers vote to hold Steve Bannon ex-Trump aide in contempt

Steve Bannon has not publicly commented on Tuesday's vote in the House Select Committee

Steve Bannon has not publicly commented on Tuesday’s vote in the House Select Committee

US Legislators probing the 6 January Capitol uproar have unitedly supported holding a top aide of ex-President Donald Trump in contempt of Congress.

Steve Bannon was ordered to bear witness before the panel, but declined to do so.

If the full chamber accepts the matter this Thursday, it would be mentioned to justice department, which has the final say on bringing charges.

If declared guilty, Mr Bannon could face a fine and up to one year in jail.

A former right-wing media executive Mr Bannon, who became Mr Trump’s chief strategist – has not openly spoken on Tuesday’s vote in the nine-member House select committee.

The two Republicans and seven Democrats on the panel supported holding him in disdain. Bannon’s claim of executive prerogative

Congresswoman Liz Cheney in her opening remarks, a Wyoming Republican and vice-chair of the committee, said Mr Bannon had had “substantial advance knowledge of the plans” for the objection on 6 January and of Mr Trump’s plans to disgrace the presidential election result.

Mr Bannon, 67, was sacked from the White House in 2017, and was not in government at the time of the uproar.

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What to look for as US Capitol riot probe commences
Mr Trump has encouraged former aides to turn down the House committee’s appeal, claiming the right to withhold facts because of executive right – a legal concept that saves many White House communications.

He filed a lawsuit on Monday soliciting to block the House probe from collecting records from the US National Archives.

President Joe Biden’s administration says Mr Trump has no legal right claim.

The uproar saw Mr Trump’s backers storm the Capitol building to throw into confusion certification of Mr Biden’s election victory over Mr Trump.

When a crowd stormed the US capitol
Over 670 people have since been charged with taking part.

Subpoena official papers quoted Mr Bannon as saying on his radio show on the night of the riot “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow”.

Mr Bannon has frequently said he has no plans to appear before the committee.

Democrats contends that Mr Bannon is interrupting to push back legal proceedings until after the midterm elections in November 2022, which may alter the balance of power in the House, which is the lower chamber of Congress.

Disrespect of Congress cases are notoriously hard to litigate – the last time such a prosecution took place was in 1983 against a Reagan administration official.

 

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