Even as his criminal contempt trial approaches, Steve Bannon has let out his willingness to testify before the January 6 committee. It is a farcical U-turn for Steve Bannon, who till last week had been a member of the most defiant and obstinate of the potential witnesses subpoenaed by the Select Committee.
Bannon had earlier vowed to turn all criminal cases against him into the misdemeanor from hell for the Dept. of Justice. But even as he faces jail term for a couple of years and hefty fines, the former right-hand man claims he has the blessing of his master in a letter that his attorney mailed to the Select Committee.
Steve Bannon Was Following Order From Trump Not To Liaise With The Panel
Steve Bannon earlier claimed executive privilege, the power of the President to withhold information about the executive branch, especially those that involve him or his senior aides.
But with other witnesses breaking rank to cooperate with the January 6 committee, Steve Bannon had stayed away despite damning evidence presented by some of his former colleagues. Bannon’s attorney Robert Costello wrote to the chair of the committee about his willingness to testify before the committee.
The attorney said that Steve Bannon had earlier received the backing of Trump to testify. He provided the select Committee with a letter from Trump that waived all claims over executive privilege over this particular testimony.
Both the select committee and the Justice Department have always maintained that Trump cannot claim executive privilege over the testimony of Steve Bannon. The latter had left the White House in 2017 and was a private citizen since. He came into prominence for his leading role in helping Trump regain power after the 2020 presidential elections.
Trump wrote to Steve Bannon that he was being treated unfairly like several others and was being forced to spend a fortune in legal fees. He further said that if they agreed to a place and time of their testimony, he was willing to waive executive privilege in his case.