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As Contempt Trial Looms, Steve Bannon Agrees to Testify Before the Jan. 6 Committee

Trump Advisor Steve Bannon Goes To Court To Contest Contempt Charges

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 15: Steve Bannon, advisor to former President Donald Trump, departs the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. Bannon appeared before a federal judge in connection with his indictment for contempt of Congress for failing to respond to a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee on January 6.

Former Trump administration advisor Steve Bannon has finally agreed to testify after long snubbing the Jan. 6 House committee.

“Mr. Bannon is willing to, and indeed prefers, to testify at your public hearing,” Bannon attorney Robert J. Costello wrote committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), according to the letter obtained by The New York Times.

Bannon, who worked for former President Donald Trump as a campaign manager and briefly as a top White House advisor, refused to testify before the House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 siege on the U.S. Capitol Building. Trump asserted executive privilege, though federal investigators have said that’s inapplicable to Bannon, who did not work for the White House during the the chaotic, bloody incident in the winding days of the administration.

For his part, Bannon refused to cooperate with the House committee on anything, so the House voted last fall to find him in contempt. He was indicted on Nov. 11 for two counts of contempt. His trial is currently set for July 18. His defense has asked for this to be postponed, saying it would be “impossible” for him to get a fair trial amid the “media blitz.” This was in reference to media coverage on bombshell testimony about Trump’s behavior as supporters rushed the Capitol to attempt to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden‘s electoral college victory.

The Times report included excepts from a letter Trump wrote to Bannon, approving the testimony.

“When you first received the subpoena to testify and provide documents, I invoked executive privilege,” Trump wrote. “However, I watched how unfairly you and others have been treated, having to spend vast amounts of money on legal fees and all of the trauma you must be going through for the love of your country and out of respect for the office of the president. Therefore, if you reach an agreement on a time and place for your testimony, I will waive executive privilege for you, which allows for you to go in and testify truthfully and fairly, as per the request of the unselect committee of political thugs and hacks.”

The hearing to determine Bannon’s request to postpone trial is scheduled for Monday.

Adam Klasfeld contributed to this report.

[Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images]

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