Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon has told the congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that he will testify, after he had refused to do so previously and was due to be tried for contempt of Congress.
In a letter to the committee seen by Reuters, Bannon‘s lawyer Robert Costello, wrote to say that former President Trump would waive the claim of executive privilege which Bannon had cited in refusing to appear before the committee.
“I will waive executive privilege for you, which allows for you to go in and testify truthfully and fairly, as per the request of the Unselect Committee of political thugs and hacks, who have allowed no due process, no cross-examination, and no real Republican members or witnesses to be present or interviewed,” Trump’s letter to Bannon read. “It is a partisan kangaroo court.”
Trump further stated that he believed that the Jan. 6 Committee hearings were “a political hit job.”
Bannon, who served as Trump’s chief strategist in 2017, is scheduled to go on trial July 18 on two criminal contempt charges for refusing to testify or provide documents.
The letter from the lawyer said Bannon preferred to testify publicly, but Representative Zoe Lofgren, a committee Democrat, told CNN that ordinarily the committee takes a deposition behind closed doors.
“This goes on for hour after hour after hour. We want to get all our questions answered. And you can’t do that in a live format,” Lofgren said. “There are many questions that we have for him.”
Throughout the House of Representatives committee hearings, videotaped snippets of closed-door testimony by witnesses under oath have been shown to the public.
Trump has expressed frustration that none of his supporters have testified in his defense at the committee hearings.
In the letter from Trump to Bannon Trump said he was waiving executive privilege because he “watched how unfairly you and others have been treated.”
The House panel is due to hold public hearings on Tuesday and Thursday this week.
Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters (Additions and edits for FISM News by Michael Cardinal)