Steven Bannon, an adviser to former President Donald Trump, alerted the House J6 Committee he will now testify before them.
Bannon had been vocal and obstinate in his refusal to meet with committee members or provide them any requested document. He claimed the former president asserted executive privilege and forbade his testimony, which he honored.
His adamant refusal to bow before the J6 Committee angered the many Democrats who overwhelmingly populate the committee. The committee voted to hold him in contempt of Congress and later asked the Justice Department to criminally indict him for his recalcitrance.
The former White House adviser was indicted by a federal grand jury November 12 on two counts. The first was for refusing to appear before the J6 Committee to testify, and the other was for refusing to hand over documents they wanted.
Federal prosecutors disputed his argument concerning executive privilege because Bannon was not working for the White House during the Capitol riot.
Both counts are misdemeanors with a potential maximum of one year in jail for each, in addition to fines.
“Mr. Bannon is willing to, and indeed prefers, to testify at your public hearing,” Robert Costello, an attorney representing Bannon, told the J6 Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.
The 45th president freed Bannon from his earlier claim of executive privilege in correspondence he sent his former adviser.
“When you first received the Subpoena to testify and provide documents, I invoked Executive Privilege,” Trump explained. “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,” he continued, “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.”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., told CNN the committee received Bannon’s letter, according to a Sunday post to the network’s Twitter account. Lofgren probably triggered a lot of conspiracy and/or coverup theories when he said the panel will not have Bannon testify in public.
“Ordinarily, we do depositions,” Lofgren said. “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.”
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