Donald Trump

Bannon will refuse to face US lawmakers, defying subpoena and risking contempt, sources say

Former Trump strategist had been due to testify on Tuesday before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia investigation

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 February, 2018, 12:14pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 February, 2018, 4:20am

Former White House senior strategist Steve Bannon will not testify before the Intelligence Committee of the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, two sources said on Monday, despite a subpoena requiring him to appear.

The panel wants Bannon to testify as part of its investigation of allegations that Russia sought to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States, following up on his January 16 appearance that failed to satisfy some members of the committee.

Representative Mike Conaway, a senior Republican committee member, told reporters on Monday he expected Bannon to comply with a subpoena and answer questions on Tuesday.

But two sources familiar with the situation said he would not appear, which could leave Bannon facing a charge of contempt of Congress.

Bannon could not immediately be reached for comment.

One of the sources said the White House had not authorised Bannon to answer committee questions. During his January 16 appearance, Bannon refused to answer questions about his time in President Donald Trump’s administration or the post-election presidential transition, committee members said.

The Intelligence Committee and the White House have not resolved the question of whether executive privilege would apply in Bannon’s case.

The House Intelligence Committee is one of three congressional committees, along with the Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller, investigating the allegations of Russian influence.

The source said Bannon would answer all of Mueller’s questions when he appears before him, which is expected next week.

Russia denies meddling in the election, and Trump has denied any collusion between his associates and Russia.