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House Votes to Hold Steve Bannon in Contempt

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday night voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the January 6 select committee, in a vote of 229 to 202, with nine Republicans voting with all of the Democrats.

Bannon was among the first figures subpoenaed by the select committee last month. The former White House chief strategist indicated through his attorney that he would defy the subpoena because former President Donald Trump had exerted executive privilege. The former president had advised Bannon, and others subpoenaed, not to comply. 

In a congressional hearing on Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland, before the vote to hold Bannon in contempt, sort of addressed how the Department of Justice (DOJ) would handle it.

According to reporting from Katie Benner for The New York Times:

The next step in the conflict is for the U.S. attorney in Washington to decide whether to enforce the subpoena.

Mr. Garland declined to say whether the Justice Department would enforce the subpoena against Mr. Bannon or to give his view on how and when the department enforces congressional subpoenas.

“The Department of Justice will do what it always does in such circumstances,” Mr. Garland said. “We’ll apply the facts and the law and make a decision, consistent with the principles of prosecution.”

As Spencer reported, the attorney general answered "I don't think so" when asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) if any of the defendants arrested over the events on January 6 were charged with insurrection.

The vote may have been bipartisan but was also marred by partisan bickering. Luke Broadwater highlighted remarks from Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim McGovern (R-MA), as well as a war of words between Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). 

While his own attorney general may acknowledge that defendants have not been charged with insurrection, President Joe Biden did certainly use the term while speaking earlier on Thursday at the the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial. 

Biden spoke of a "line of subjugation" and made reference to it with the events on January 6, saying that "that line continues to be the torches emerging from dark shadows in Charlottesville, carrying out Nazi banners and chanting anti-Semitic bile, and Ku Klux Klan flags; and the violent, deadly insurrection on the Capitol nine months ago — it was about white supremacy, in my view."

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