The House of Representatives voted today to hold former President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress in a largely partisan vote.
The vote was held over his refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the mostly Democrat House select committee investigating the events that occurred Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.
Nine Republicans joined with the Democrats to total 229 votes to 202 against and escalates the select committee’s efforts to punish Bannon for his non-compliance.
U.S. House Reps Fred Upton (R-MI), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), John Katko (R-NY), Nancy Mace (R-SC), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) along with House Select Committee Reps Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) voted against Bannon.
All of those representatives have made anti-Trump statements in the past so it is no surprise that they would vote in favor.
The referral now heads to the justice department, where Attorney General Merrick Garland will likely pursue a conviction against Bannon and consequences could mean up to a year in federal prison, $100,000 in fines, or both, although it would still not force his compliance and pursuing the misdemeanor charge could take years.
The House select committee chair, Bennie Thompson (D-MI) said the authorization of the criminal referral against Bannon signaled their determination to deploy their most aggressive measures to punish anyone who disobeyed their request.
U.S. House Rep Jamie Raskin (D-MD) who is on the select committee, celebrated the vote in a tweet after giving a speech on the House floor encouraging the vote.
“Trump’s Big Lie turned into Big Violence and now into the Big Coverup. Bannon can take the 5th if he thinks he’s committed a crime, but he can’t stay at home and defy a subpoena,” Raskin claimed.
Raskin added, “The vote to hold him in contempt today strikes a blow for the rule of law & the defense of democracy.”
Trump’s Big Lie turned into Big Violence and now into the Big Coverup. Bannon can take the 5th if he thinks he’s committed a crime, but he can’t stay at home and defy a subpoena. The vote to hold him in contempt today strikes a blow for the rule of law & the defense of democracy. pic.twitter.com/j46lDmkMBc— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) October 21, 2021
In his speech on the floor, Raskin referenced a statement made today by Trump regarding his view of how events have unfolded.
“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump insisted in the statement, which Raskin disputed.
NEW!— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 21, 2021
"The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!" – President Donald J. Trump pic.twitter.com/3vjF4mwq3K
The Associated Press issued a fact check on the statement, ultimately, calling it false and suggesting that he was “seeking to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.”
Of course they never issued any such fact check on the Russia collusion claims by Democrats even though the Mueller report did not find any evidence of collusion.
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