Former White House advisor Steve Bannon should be looking over his shoulder, thanks to a decision by a federal judge this week.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a 39-page decision on Tuesday ruling that former President Donald Trump could not claim executive privilege as a means of blocking Bannon from obeying a Congressional subpoena. A select committee in the House of Representatives has subpoenaed Bannon for testimony in connection with his participation in the January 6. Capitol Insurrection.
The decision by Judge Chutkan will now pave the way for Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute Bannon for obstruction of Congress. In an interview with MSNBC, law scholar Laurence Tribe explained that he expects Garland to move quickly in holding Bannon in contempt.
“If that’s what he [Garland] was waiting for, he got it tonight, and if he does not move immediately, it will be inexcusable,” Tribe explained. “He will, in all effects and purposes, he will be obstructing Congress. He will be preventing the effectuation of a legitimate and crucial congressional investigation because all of these guys who are getting subpoenaed have no particular incentive to comply if Steve Bannon can get away with stonewalling.”
“The fat lady has sung, the music is over, and he’s got to turn over the documents, and I think Bannon has got to be prosecuted,” Tribe added. ‘I think we’re about to watch a very rapid show.”
Amid the investigation into connections between the Trump Administration, as well as other lawmakers, and the January 6 Insurrection, Steve Bannon’s name has loomed large among potential witnesses. That comes, in part, thanks to reporting by authors Robert Costa and Bob Woodward, who documented Bannon’s role in the insurrection. Specifically, the former Breitbart editor encouraged Donald Trump to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to attempt to block certification of the results of the 2020 Election.
Bannon, for his part, has seemed to confirm as much in his own podcast.
Bannon has already faced legal scrutiny over his role in the Trump Administration and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. In 2020, prosecutors charged Bannon with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering in connection to the We Build the Wall campaign after Bannon allegedly used donations to build a border wall for personal expenses. Donald Trump pardoned Bannon of any possible wrongdoing in January 2021.