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Bannon defies Jan. 6 panel’s subpoena, risks contempt charge

A congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection could soon recommend criminal contempt charges against former White House aide Steve Bannon, as he defies a subpoena for documents and testimony about his interactions with former US president Donald Trump ahead of the violent siege of the Capitol.

The committee scheduled a Thursday deposition with Bannon, but his lawyer has said that, at Trump’s direction, he won’t appear.

A second witness called for a deposition on Thursday, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel, also will not appear, according to two people familiar with the confidential negotiations who were granted anonymity to discuss them. But Patel is still engaging with the committee, the people say.

Former US president Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, speaks with reporters in New York after pleading not guilty to fraud charges, on August 20, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP)

Two other aides who worked for Trump — former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and longtime Trump social media director Dan Scavino — are scheduled for depositions on Friday. It is unclear whether they will appear. Like Patel, Meadows is speaking with the committee.

Bannon’s testimony is just one facet of an escalating congressional inquiry, with 19 subpoenas issued so far and thousands of pages of documents flowing in.

But his defiance is a crucial moment for the committee, whose members are vowing to restore the binding force of congressional subpoenas after they were routinely flouted during Trump’s time in office.

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