WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — Former White House strategist Steve Bannon said on Sunday he is “willing” to testify publically in front of the House Jan. 6 committee after receiving a letter from former President Donald Trump stating that he would waive his claim of executive privilege.
The news comes just a week before jury selection begins in his contempt of Congress trial. It ends months of resistance by Bannon, who has previously refused to cooperate with the committee.
In the letter, Trump said Bannon had been treated “unfairly,” had been forced to “spend vast amounts of money on legal fees” but would waive what he claimed to be an executive privilege to allow him to testify in front of the committee “honestly and fairly”.
“I will waive Executive Privilege for you, which allows for you to go in and testify truthfully and fairly, as per the request of the Unselect Committee of political Thugs and Hacks, who have allowed no Due Process, no Cross-Examination, and no real Republican members or witnesses to be present or interviewed. It is a partisan Kangaroo Court,” the letter says.
Robert Costello, Bannon’s lawyer, wrote a letter to the committee as well, saying “Trump has decided that it would be in the best interests of the American people to waive executive privilege for Stephen K. Bannon, to allow Mr. Bannon to comply with the subpoena issued by your Committee. Mr. Bannon is willing to, and indeed prefers, to testify at your public hearing.”
Bannon’s role in the White House lasted just seven months in 2017 before being indicted in November by a federal grand jury and charged with two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a congressional subpoena from the committee.
If he is convicted Bannon faces the possibility of serving prison time and paying a hefty fine.