Jun 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Bannon subpoenas Jan. 6 committee members

Steve Bannon.
Steve Bannon, former senior adviser to President Trump, speaks during his arrival at U.S. District Court on March 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Lawyers for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon are seeking testimony and documents from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other lawmakers, including members of the Jan. 6 committee, according to documents reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: The push comes ahead of a July trial for Bannon, who was indicted for contempt of Congress after refusing to testify about his own conversations with the former president ahead of the attack on the Capitol.

  • Experts said efforts to compel members of Congress to testify are unlikely to succeed.
  • The legal move, first reported by CNN, also shows Bannon's and other Trump associates' interest in counterprogramming the committee's investigation ahead of the June 9 start to public hearings.

What we're watching: Bannon's team told Axios that last week they subpoenaed all nine members of the House select committee, as well as three committee staff, House's general counsel Douglas Letter, Pelosi, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

  • They seek a range of documents, including those related to internal deliberations and documents as part of the Jan. 6 investigation.

What they're saying: Danya Perry, a former deputy attorney general for New York and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, told Axios that subpoenas to members of Congress and their staffers "are likely to be quashed swiftly" because of shields for documents and testimony under the Constitution's speech or debate clause.

  • However, Perry said, some minor exceptions could be argued, involving marketing material for books by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
  • David Schoen, an attorney for Bannon, told Axios that Raskin and Schiff "have a vested interest now, whether financial or reputational or personal, in ensuring that the committee's conclusions are consistent with their books. We can't have that kind of committee."
  • A spokesman for the Jan. 6 committee did not respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople for Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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