Bannon Ready to Testify Before Jan. 6 Committee

July 11, 2022 by Dan McCue
Bannon Ready to Testify Before Jan. 6 Committee
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon pauses to speak with reporters after departing federal court, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — Former Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon says he’s now ready to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol and testify at one of its upcoming public hearings.

The about-face was announced in a letter sent by Bannon attorney Robert Costello to Select Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., on Saturday. 

“Mr. Bannon has not had a change of posture or of heart,” Costello wrote in the two-page letter. “[But] circumstances have now changed.”

Bannon has been facing criminal charges for his refusal to answer the committee’s subpoena, a refusal he based on former President Donald Trump’s claiming executive privilege protected his communications with certain of his key aides from disclosure.


In his letter Costello said Bannon was “obligated to honor the president’s invocation, unless and until, either your committee reached a constitutionally required accommodation with President Trump … or your committee obtained a ruling from the Federal District Court that the invocation of executive privilege was improper or did not apply to the particular question or document sought.”

“While Mr. Bannon has been steadfast in his convictions … President Trump has provided us with a letter … attesting to the fact that … in light of the surrounding circumstances, even in the absence of any effort by your committee to reach the requested accommodation with President Trump, President Trump has decided that it would be in the best interests of the American people to waive executive privilege for Stephen K. Bannon, [and] to allow Mr. Bannon to comply with the subpoena issued by your committee.”


Trump’s letter, which was also forwarded to Thompson, said in part, “When you first received the subpoena to testify and provide documents, I invoked executive privilege. However, I watched how unfairly you and others have been treated, having to spend vast amounts of money on legal fees, and all of the trauma you must be going through for the love of your country, and out of respect for the office of the president.”

Despite Costello’s announcement, one interested party is dubious of his newfound willingness to testify before the House committee — the U.S. Justice Department.

In a court filing Monday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn called his purported decision “little more than an attempt to change the optics of his contempt on the eve of trial, not an actual effort at compliance.”

She and her fellow federal prosecutors on the case go on to say Bannon’s “last-minute efforts to testify,” after nine months of noncompliance with the subpoena, is “irrelevant” to their case.


“The defendant has been charged with criminal contempt for willfully failing to produce records and appearing for testimony in compliance with a subpoena the Select Committee served on him on Sept. 23, 2021,” the filing says. “The criminal contempt statute is not intended to procure compliance; it is intended to punish past noncompliance.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected]

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