Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention'


Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday said holding ex-Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon in criminal contempt would be “a way of getting people’s attention,” as the select committee probing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol works to ramp up its investigation of the deadly riots.

“If the Justice Department prosecutes Steve Bannon, other witnesses will see they will face real consequences, including jail time and potentially stiff fines. That is a way of getting people's attention,” Schiff told host Jim Acosta during an interview on “CNN Newsroom.”

“So, you know, Bannon's an important witness in his own right, but — but it's also important to send a message that the rule of law is back and people are going to need to pay attention,” Schiff, who sits on the select committee, added.

The select committee announced on Thursday that it would pursue criminal prosecution against Bannon after the ex-Trump White House strategist failed to appear for a scheduled deposition.

Bannon told the congressional panel last week that he would not comply with the subpoena. The former strategist is arguing that a yet-to-be-filed suit from former President Trump shows that the requested materials and testimony are protected by executive privilege.

The select committee will now convene on Tuesday evening to take up a criminal contempt report, which will outline steps the panel took to get Bannon to comply with the subpoena, and his refusal to do so.

The report will then be brought before the House for a vote. If it passes, it will be sent to the Justice Department where the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. and top lawyers at the department will decide how aggressively they want to pursue Bannon's compliance with the subpoena.

Asked by Acosta on Sunday about the chances of getting Bannon to testify, Schiff said the panel’s “chances are actually very good” — despite the arduous process of pursuing crimin... (Read more)

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