McCarthy alleges Jan. 6 select committee’s Bannon subpoena is ‘invalid’

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McCarthy alleges Jan. 6 select committee's Bannon subpoena is 'invalid'

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is claiming the Jan. 6 select committee’s subpoena for documents and testimony from Steve Bannon is “invalid” ahead of the House’s vote to recommend that the former White House strategist be held in contempt of Congress after he declined to comply with the panel’s request.

Bannon — who was a private citizen during the time of the riot on the Capitol — cited “executive privilege” in pushing back on cooperating with the panel, with his attorney Robert Costello stating that he would “comply with the directions of the courts.” 

While the panel was issued subpoena power, McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the courts should determine whether Bannon would be covered by executive privilege. 

“They’re issuing an invalid subpoena,” he said at a press conference Thursday. “Issuing invalid subpoenas weakens our power, not if somebody votes against it. He has the right to go to the court to see if he has executive privilege or not. I don’t know if he does or not but neither does the committee.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claims the Jan. 6 select committee’s subpoena for documents and testimony from Steve Bannon is “invalid.”
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Bannon was subpoenaed by the panel on Sept. 23, along with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House communications official Dan Scavino and former Pentagon official Kash Patel.

When pressed on what makes the subpoena invalid, McCarthy argued that the entire panel is invalid due to it passing largely along party lines. 

McCarthy has long been critical of the select committee, arguing it is politically motivated. He escalated his criticisms of the panel after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rebuffed two of his five selections — Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.), both allies of President Donald Trump — to sit on the committee. After the speaker rejected his picks, he opted not to have any of his members serve. 

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon was a private citizen during the time of the riot at the Capitol.
AP Photo/Steve Helber

The nine-person panel — which was created after a vote in June which passed largely along party lines — currently includes two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), both of whom defied McCarthy’s calls not to partake in the committee. 

Members of the committee voted unanimously Tuesday to advance the resolution to recommend the Department of Justice pursue criminal charges. 

Bannon is seen as a critical witness for the panel due to his communications with Trump in the days leading up to Jan. 6.

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