Capitol riot: Lawmakers vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt

Capitol riot: Lawmakers vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt

Steve Bannon could be prosecuted for refusing to give evidence on the Capitol riot.


US lawmakers investigating the 6 January Capitol riot have supported holding a top aide of ex-President Donald Trump in contempt of Congress.

Steve Bannon, a right-wing media executive who became Mr Trump's chief strategist, was summoned to testify before the panel, but refused to do so.

Lawyers for Mr Bannon argued that communications involving the former president are protected.

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If convicted, he could face a fine and up to one year in prison.

"It appears that Mr Bannon had substantial advanced knowledge of the plans for January 6, and likely had an important role in formulating those plans," congresswoman Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and vice-chair of the committee probing the riot said in her opening statement.

Subpoena documents quote Mr Bannon as saying on his radio show the day before the riot "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow".

But Mr Trump has urged his former aides to reject any requests to testify, claiming they have the right to withhold information because of executive privilege - a legal principle that protects many White House communications.

The former president filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking to block the House inquiry from obtaining records from the US National Archives.

Mr Bannon - who was fired from the White House in 2017 but remained loyal to Donald Trump - has not publicly commented on Tuesday's vote. Through his lawyer, he has said that he will not cooperate until Mr Trump's executive privilege claim is resolved by a court.