Former White House strategist Stephen Bannon doesn’t plan to comply with a subpoena from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, according to CNN, following reports President Donald Trump advised him and three other former aides to buck lawmakers’ orders.
Thursday at midnight was the deadline for Bannon and former chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsTrump advising 4 former aides to ignore subpoenas from Jan. 6 panel: report Jan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers Five takeaways: Report details Trump’s election pressure campaign MORE to comply with subpoenas sent on Sept. 23.
Subpoenas were also sent to Dan Scavino, Trump’s deputy chief of staff for communications, and Kashyap Patel, the chief of staff to then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and a former House and White House staffer.
According to CNN, Bannon alerted the committee he did not plan to comply with the subpoena. Meadows also responded to the committee, but the nature of his response was unclear.
A spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee declined to comment. Bannon and his attorney did not immediately respond to request for comment.
According to a letter reviewed by Politico on Thursday, Trump told the men he would challenge the order in court, arguing they are a violation of executive privilege, which can shield White House employees from testifying before Congress.
“President TrumpDonald Trump Trump urges GOP senators to vote against McConnell debt deal On The Money — Presented by NRHC — Senate slowly walks back from debt disaster Administration confirms it will restore national monuments to pre-Trump boundaries MORE is prepared to defend these fundamental privileges in court,” the letter stated.
Speaking with reporters late last month, Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-Md.) expressed doubts that Trump would be able to prevail in court, calling the former president’s argument “so off-base.”
“First of all, the executive privilege applies to a sitting president, not former presidents, because the focus is on the national security interests of the country. It’s a very limited doctrinal privilege,” he said.
“In any event, even if the court were to weigh the public’s overwhelming interest in getting at the truth of events, versus the interest in national security, in this case both factors are on the side of disclosure. The public has an interest in knowing everything about the attack on our democracy, and that truth-seeking function will improve national security. So national security argues for disclosure, not for secrecy.”
Even if the Trump camp does try to assert executive privilege, it’s not clear why such an argument would cover Bannon. While Bannon worked at the White House in the months after Trump was inaugurated, he was later dismissed. He was subpoenaed due to his involvement in planning for the rallies on Jan. 6, well after his White House career.
Adding to the complications for the committee is that it was evidently unable to track down Scavino in order to serve him with a subpoena, according to CNN.
Morgan Chalfant contributed.