Steve Bannon has subpoenaed Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with all members of her hand-picked January 6th select committee in his contempt of Congress trial next month, giving the vengeful Democrats and their two GOP allies Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger a taste of their own medicine.
Attorneys for the former White House chief strategist under President Donald J. Trump subpoenaed Pelosi, the committee members, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Rep. James Clyburn, seeking to get them to testify under oath and produce documents on how the committee was set up, how the decision was reached to charge Bannon with criminal contempt and communications with one of his lawyers.
Bannon, whose trial is set to begin July 18, has been charged with two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with Pelosi’s tribunal. His attorneys have contended that the committee was improperly formed after Pelosi disallowed House Republicans from adding their own members, instead selecting the two most virulent and outspoken Trump haters in Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger to present an illusion of bipartisanship.
(Image: Screengrab/The Daily Mail)
David Schoen who is one of Bannon’s lawyers said that J6 committee members are ineligible due to conflicts of interest and that the entire case is politically motivated.
“It’s a party political abuse of the criminal system, in my opinion,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “It never should have been done and it proves to me that they’re not interested in his testimony they were interested in making a spectacle and intimidating people.”
Some legal experts have expressed doubt that Pelosi and her committee members will be compelled to testify in Bannon’s trial.
Thomas Spulak, who was general counsel to the House of Representatives in the 1990s told CNN. “In this particular case I’m extremely confident that the staff members and members of the House would be shielded by the Speech and Debate Clause.”
The subpoenas are “are likely to be quashed swiftly,” Danya Perry, former deputy attorney general for New York and former assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York told Axios, citing the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause.
Perry noted minor exceptions regarding marketing material for books by two top J6 committee members, Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Jamie Raskin who reportedly wants to use the nationally televised spectacle of the public hearings as a springboard for eliminating the Electoral College.
Schiff’s book, “Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could,” was published last fall, and Raskin’s “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy,” hit bookshelves early this year.
According to Schiff’s subpoena, “All documents in your possession which tend to show a conflict of interest involving any Select Committee member or staff (including but not limited to documents that pertain to payments for a book that was written by and/or promoted by any Select Committee member or staff from January 6, 2021, up until the present date),” Daily Mail reported.
Schoen pointed out that it would be a “sad irony” if the top House Democrats and committee members rejected the subpoenas. “Here you have Bannon, referred by this committee for criminal prosecution for not complying with a subpoena when executive privilege was invoked by the former president and his hands are tied, but then you would have the committee members saying they refuse to testify.”
“Their testimony and their documents belong to the American people and it shouldn’t be their role to refuse to testify,” he said. “They want all the facts to come out then come out and testify about them and produce the documents.”
In addition to the Dem House leaders and the committee members, subpoenas were also sent to three staffers and the general counsel to the House of Representatives, Douglas Letter.
Pelosi’s sham committee makes its primetime debut on Thursday night.
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