Bannon to "defy order" to testify before Congress

Former White House chief strategist to reportedly defy a subpoena.
February 6, 2018, 12:15pm
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Steve Bannon will refuse to appear before Congress Tuesday, according to sources speaking to the Guardian and Reuters.

The former White House chief strategist will reportedly defy a subpoena ordering him to appear before the House Intelligence Committee because the scope of the questions has not been agreed between the Committee and the White House.

If he does fail to appear, Bannon could be held in contempt of Congress — though the last time Congress arrested and detained a witness was 1935.

Bannon last appeared before the House committee — one of three Congressional bodies investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — on Jan. 16, when he refused to answer questions about his time inside the Oval Office.

The former Breitbart chief reportedly told the Committee the White House had directed him not to say anything.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell called Bannon’s performance the “most aggressive effort by the White House thus far to obstruct our efforts to seek the truth.” His collegue Rep. Adam Schiff put it more succinctly: “This was effectively a gag order by the White House.”

According to the Guardian’s source, Bannon does intend to eventually meet with House investigators, but only after the issue of whether executive privilege applies has been resolved.

Bannon does intend to fully comply with FBI special counsel Robert Mueller when he is interviewed next week.