President Donald J. A former Trump adviser’s refusal to comply with a subpoena raises the possibility of a legal battle for evidence in the investigation.
WASHINGTON – President Donald J. Former Trump chief strategist Stephen K. A lawyer for Bannon told the special House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots on Thursday that he would not comply with a subpoena, raising the legal possibility. Battle of important evidence in the investigation
In a letter to the panel, Mr Bannon’s lawyer, Robert Costello, said a lawyer for Mr Trump had asked some aides and advisers facing subpoenas to invoke immunity and from altering documents that could be protected under executive privilege. told to abstain.
“It is therefore clear to us that since executive privileges belong to President Trump, and he has, through his counsel, announced his intention to assert those executive privileges outlined above.handjob We must accept his instruction and honor his call for executive privilege,” Mr. Costello wrote. “As such, until these issues are resolved, we are unable to respond to your request for documents and testimony.” Huh.”
Representative Benny Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and chairman of the select committee, has threatened criminal referrals for witnesses who do not comply with the summons, and said the panel expects witnesses to “fully cooperate with our investigation.” “
In its first batch of subpoenas, the House committee ordered four former Trump administration officials — Mr. Bannon; White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; Dan Scavino Jr., a deputy chief of staff and Kash Patel, a Pentagon chief of staff — to sit down to submit and present documents and other materials relevant to their investigation.
In a letter reviewed by Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump’s lawyer asked that witnesses not provide testimony or documents related to their “official” duties, and instead to enforce any immunity they had “in full as permitted by law”. to the limit”.
While Mr Bannon served in the White House in 2017, he left in August of that year, and was not an executive branch employee in the leadership or executive branch as of 6 January, raising questions about whether the executive The privilege – which could protect White House deliberations or documents linked to the president from disclosure – would apply to his conversations with Trump.
In the letter, Mr. Costello said his client will “follow the directions of the courts”, but for now, “Mr. Bannon is legally unable to comply with your subpoena requests for documents and testimony.”
It was not clear whether Mr Bannon was planning to go to court. But the rebuke of the summons was sure to slow down the committee’s work, which Mr Trump attacked as illegitimate.