Former White House strategist Steve Bannon on Friday said he stood solidly with former President Trump and will not be cooperating with its investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
‘I stand with Trump and the Constitution,’ he told DailyMail.com.
Bannon was one of four former officials that the House Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed to provide documents and testimony as they investigate the violence that engulfed the Capitol after a Trump rally nearby.
All four were told by the former president’s attorney on Wednesday that he planned to defend himself against what he viewed as an infringement of ‘executive privilege.’
In a letter sent to the committee, seen by DailyMail.com, Bannon’s lawyer wrote that he would honor Trump’s claim.
‘It is therefore clear to us that since the executive privileges belong to President Trump, and he has, through his counsel, announced his intention to assert those executive privileges… we must accept his direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege,’ writes Bannon’s attorney Robert Costello, who also represents Rudy Giuliani.
‘As such, until those issues are resolved, we are unable to respond to your requests for documents and testimony.’
The letter goes on to say that Bannon will comply with the direction of any court ruling on claims of executive privilege.
‘Since these privileges belong to President Trump and not to Mr. Bannon, until these issues are resolved, Mr. Bannon is legally unable to comply with your subpoena requests for documents and testimony,’ it concludes.
Costello is a former deputy chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.
He also represents Trump aide and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in investigations about his business dealings.
The letter sets the stage for a legal challenge to force Bannon to testify.
And it sets up a likely clash with House Democrats, who are investigating the role of Trump and his associates in the build up to the riot.
The committee responded by warning of criminal proceedings.
‘We will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral,’ said its Chairman Bennie Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney.
Last month the committee issued subpoenas to Bannon; Mark Meadows, for….