Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of New York released a joint press statement Thursday demanding a hearing with former advisor to President Donald Trump Steve Bannon.
Cummings, the ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Nadler, the ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary, said a hearing would be relevant given Bannon’s experience with law enforcement actions during his time in the White House.
“Today, Democratic Members of both the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees wrote to Chairmen Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy to enforce their right to a hearing with Steve Bannon,” the press release stated.
In the letter to Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte and South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, Cummings and Nadler cited “House Rule XI clause 2(j)(1),” which states that “minority members “have the right to demand a day of hearings to allow witnesses to testify on the subject of today’s hearing … As the chief executive of the Trump Campaign, his testimony concerning his knowledge and interactions with law enforcement actions … would be highly relevant to the subject matter of the hearing and the Committee’s investigation.” (RELATED: Strzok Refuses To Answer Key Trump Dossier Questions)
Bannon came under scrutiny in January for refusing to answer questions before the House Intelligence Committee, citing executive privilege as his reason for failing to answer questions. The White House counsel allegedly told Bannon not to say anything about his work on the Trump campaign or after the Trump campaign to Congress.
The move to call Bannon for a hearing comes after Goodlatte threatened to hold FBI agent Peter Strzok in contempt of Congress at a Thursday hearing for not answering questions under the advice of FBI counsel. Strzok testified before the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees on Thursday after it was revealed that he exchanged anti-Trump texts with his mistress while investigating possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in 2016. Goodlatte told Strzok he could be forced to face criminal charges for being in contempt of Congress, although no charge of contempt has been brought.
The Democrats’ letter might imply they are looking to do the same to Bannon if he is subpoenaed to Congress. Democrats during Strzok’s hearing repeatedly complained that he was only being harshly questioned and threatened of being in contempt because he opposed Trump. Bannon, while being scrutinized by both sides of the aisle, was never held in contempt for his similar actions.
“House Republicans sent a giant love letter to President Trump,” Cummings and Nadler said in the press release. “They have shown that they will do whatever they can to defend President Trump and interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Mueller.”
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