Stephen K. Bannon, a former White House adviser, has volunteered to testify before the January 6 Committee after former Pres. Donald Trump agreed to waive executive privilege and allow him to do so, backing down from his obstinate months-long refusal.
According to the NY Times, Bannon would most likely testify behind closed doors, as all prior witnesses have, before his testimony is misleadingly and selectively edited for public release. The panel is stacked against Trump.
It also came as his contempt of Congress trial was about to start on July 18. Bannon and Peter Navarro, a former Trump economic adviser, face contempt charges, but the DOJ has declined to press charges in prior instances when Democrats were accused of the same crime — including former A.G. Eric Holder, who withheld documents on the failed Operation of Fast & Furious, and former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was part of a conspiracy to target conservatives.
It is uncertain how Bannon’s testimony will influence his criminal case. Regardless of his conversion, he may still face two years in prison and fines. He has vowed to make the Biden administration’s misdemeanor from hell; the early motions in the trial sought to compel the government to disclose documents regarding law enforcement operations at the Capitol during the riot, as well as internal communications of the January 6 Committee itself.
Bannon, among others, has opposed their subpoenas on the grounds that the committee is illegal and unconstitutional. They also maintained that former President Donald Trump’s executive privilege was still in effect and not subject to his successor’s will.
“Not just Trump supporters and conservatives — every progressive, and liberal in this nation that believes in liberty and free speech should be fighting for this case,” Bannon said when he was arrested in November. “That’s why I’m here today: to defend everyone. I’m never going to give in.”
The January 6 Commission has alleged that Bannon was the heart of a plot to force Congress to overturn the 2020 presidential election’s outcome. He allegedly ran a “war room” at a Washington, D.C., hotel, and warned on a Jan. 5, 2021, podcast that “all hell will break loose tomorrow.”
Bannon was the former executive chairman of Breitbart before joining the Trump campaign in 2016 as CEO. He directed that effort to success and oversaw White House planning during the early months of the Trump administration.