House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising will hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in criminal contempt as “a way of getting people’s attention.”
Bannon failed to appear before the select committee after he was subpoenaed, leading Schiff and the other Democrats in charge to pursue criminal prosecution against him.
“If the Justice Department prosecutes Steve Bannon, other witnesses will see they will face real consequences, including jail time and potentially stiff fines,” Schiff told CNN.
“That is a way of getting people’s attention,” he continued. “So, you know, Bannon’s an important witness in his own right, 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, while making the rounds on the Sunday talk-show circuit, also underscored the threat during an MSNBC appearance.
““He apparently feels he’s above the law, but he’s about to find out otherwise,” Schiff said.
The select committee must now take up a criminal contempt report and then bring it before the House for a vote.
If it passes, it will be sent to the Justice Department, where federal prosecutors will determine how to make Bannon comply with the subpoena.
When asked why the select committee wants to hear from Bannon, since he was not officially involved with former president Donald Trump or his administration at the time of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Schiff claimed Bannon was still connected to Trump.
“I think the biggest area where we still have so much to learn is around the president’s conduct,” he claimed.
“In the days leading up to Jan. 6, on that day itself, Steve Bannon was one of the president’s closest advisers,” Schiff said. “He was predicting that all hell was going to break loose on Jan. 6. So he clearly has relevant information to share with the committee, and we’re going to make sure that he does.”
The select committee has also subpoenaed former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff communications Dan Scavino, and Kashyap Patel, the former chief of staff to then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.