Bannon refuses to comply with subpoena

Lester Mason
January 17, 2018

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) told CNN on Tuesday that Bannon's refusal to answer the committee's questions could place him in contempt of Congress.

That's because he reportedly gave very few answers when he testified behind closed doors with committee members for more than 10 hours Tuesday. But his relations with the president frayed badly after he was quoted extensively with critical remarks about the campaign and the first months of White House operations in author Michael Wolff's new book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House". He was also slapped with a new subpoena on Tuesday from the committee itself, according to Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican leading the committee's Russian Federation probe, and committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, who still signs off on subpoenas. "They went back to the White House and got the same instruction again, basically ... effectively putting in place a gag rule".

Even then, Bannon refused to answer questions after his lawyer conferred with the White House and was told to refuse to answer questions about the transition period after Trump was elected in November 2016 and before he took office in January 2017, or about Bannon's time at the White House, according to Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee. "So this obviously can't stand".

Executive privilege is a principle that allows the president, his aides and Cabinet officials to flout some subpoenas in order to protect confidentiality in the executive branch, according to The New York Times, although the definition has relatively narrow interpretations.

"While we were able to ask and answer a lot of different kinds of questions, there were an terrible lot of questions we weren't able to answer based on this very novel theory of executive privilege", Himes told CNN.

U.S. President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon has refused to comply with a subpoena ordering him to answer questions from a congressional committee investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, could meet with the committee as soon as Friday. "It's not Mr. Bannon's right to waive it".

"I certainly think that the committee respects executive privilege, it's when does that attach is the question that's sort of dominating the day", Rooney said. "At this point, I believe it's premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege".

Asked if the had told Bannon not to answer certain questions, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: "As with all congressional activities touching upon the White House, Congress must consult with the prior to obtaining confidential material". He continued to speak to Trump and tried to promote the president's agenda. "We've been cooperating fully with these ongoing investigations and encourage the committees to work with us to find an appropriate accommodation in order to ensure Congress obtains information necessary to its legitimate interests", she said.

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski hired an attorney ahead of his testimony on Capitol Hill.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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