US House holds Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for defying subpoena
- The House vote ended with a 229-202
- US Attorney in Washington will now look over the case
- GOP's Liz Cheney was part of the lead panel on Thursday
The United States House of Representatives voted to hold Steve Bannon, an aide to former President Donald Trump, in criminal contempt for defying the subpoena issued by the legislative body. The House Select Committee is currently investigating the January 6 riots in Washington DC.
The House of Representatives on Thursday voted on the matter, with the final tally ending at 229-202. Even though the debate floor saw a rare bipartisan spirit in the House, the voting brought out disagreements between the Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
Multiple Republicans voted against holding Bannon in criminal contempt despite the potential consequences for Congress if witnesses are allowed to ignore its demands. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, was in charge of the session along with Liz Cheney, one of the few GOP members on the Select Committee.
The House vote sends the matter to the United States attorney’s office in Washington, where it will now be up to prosecutors in that office to decide whether to present the case to a grand jury for possible criminal charges.
The partisan split over Bannon's subpoena — and over the committee's investigation in general — is emblematic of the raw tensions that still grip Congress nine months after the Capitol attack, according to reports from Associated Press.
Cheney, who has often criticised former United States President Donald Trump for his alleged involvement in the January 6 storming of Capitol building, said in a statement that Bannon is likely to be involved in the events of the day.
She said, "Mr. Bannon’s own public statements make clear he knew what was going to happen before it did, and thus he must have been aware of -- and may well have been involved in -- the planning of everything that played out on that day."
Cheney added, "The American people deserve to know what he knew and what he did", according to reports from Associated Press.