Bannon May Face Charges as Judge Rejects Trump’s Executive Privilege

Bannon May Face Charges as Judge Rejects Trump's Executive Privilege

( – On October 21, the US House of Representatives voted to hold former Trump advisor Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the January 6 House Select Committee. Nancy Pelosi certified the vote later that day and referred the matter to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. To date, prosecutors from that office don’t appear to have taken any action on the referral so far. But, all that could change in light of a recent court ruling.

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit to prevent the Select Committee from obtaining records from his administration currently held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Trump’s lawyers claimed executive privilege protected the documents from Congressional review.

However, on November 9, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled against the former president. According to her, the dispute lies between the current President, Joe Biden, and Donald Trump. While Trump “retains the right” to claim executive privilege, President Biden isn’t “constitutionally obligated to honor” Trump’s claim, and Biden has already waived privilege.

Some legal experts say the ruling could pave the way for Bannon’s prosecution. For instance, New York University Law School professor Ryan Goodman characterized the court’s ruling as “devastating,” it wasn’t a “close call.”

However, the Department of Justice has a long-standing history of refusing to prosecute executive branch officials for refusing to honor congressional subpoenas.

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