US House Committee Votes to Hold Donald Trump Aide Steve Bannon in Contempt
The final decision lies with the US Attorney General Merrick Garland, on whether Steve Bannon should be prosecuted.
On Thursday, 21 October, the US House of Representatives with a bipartisan majority voted to hold Steve Bannon, a private citizen, for Contempt of the House. Bannon has been a Trump ally and has been alleged to have avoided to adhere to the Select Committee's summons.
Bannon served as the Chief Strategist to former President Donald Trump.
The Select Committee has been set up to investigate the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.
While seven of the nine members on the committee are Democrats, only two of them belong to the Republican party.
The Select Committee voted unanimously in favour of the charges whereas the House voted 229 to 202, with only nine Republicans in favour.
Most of the Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt also voted in favour of impeachment of Donald Trump in early 2021.
Bannon is said to have been guilty of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the Committee.
While the panel hopes for jail time and a fine of $1,00,000 for the contempt, the final decision lies with US Attorney General Merrick Garland on whether Bannon should be prosecuted.
The panel believes that the prosecution and punishment will, as per Reuters, "encourage cooperation from the 18 other Trump aides and rally organizers who also have been subpoenaed".
They also contend that Bannon had prior knowledge about "extreme events" planned to take place on 6 January. On 5 January, Bannon in a podcast said, "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow."
"Bannon's own public statements make clear: he knew what was going to happen before it did. The American people deserve to know what he knew, and what he did," Cheney, who is vice chair of the Select Committee, said during the debate.
(With inputs from Reuters, TOI and Hindu)
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