Steve Bannon, former advisor to Pres. Donald Trump, has agreed to testify before the House committee that’s investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Bannon had been set to go on trial next week on criminal contempt charges for refusing to cooperate with the probe of the Capitol riot. He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of contempt of Congress, and faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000 for each count if convicted.
Bannon’s lawyer argued that he was adhering to the assertion of executive privilege that had been claimed by Trump, which allegedly barred Bannon from providing the materials requested by the select committee. However on Saturday, Trump sent a letter to Bannon that waived executive privilege. Trump wrote in the letter: “When you first received the Subpoena to testify and provide documents, I invoked Executive Privilege. However, I watched how unfairly you and others have been treated, having to spend vast amounts of money on legal fees, and all of the trauma you must be going through for the love of your Country, and out of respect for the Office of the President. Therefore, if you reach an agreement on a time and place for your testimony, I will waive Executive Privilege for you, which allows you to go in and testify truthfully and fairly.”
Bannon’s lawyer Bob Costello sent the letter to the Jan. 6 committee, adding: “While Mr. Bannon has been steadfast in his convictions, circumstances have now changed. Mr. Bannon is willing to, and indeed prefers, to testify at your public hearing.”
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