Donald Trump’s former close adviser Steve Bannon has told the congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol that he is ready to testify, a change of heart days before it is to be tried for contempt of Congress.
In a letter to the committee seen by Reuters, Bannon’s attorney, Robert Costello, wrote to say that the former president would waive the executive privilege that Bannon had cited by refusing to appear before the committee.
Bannon, a prominent figure in right-wing media circles who served as Trump’s chief strategist in 2017, is scheduled to go on trial July 18 on two counts of criminal contempt for refusing to testify or provide documents.
The attorney’s letter said Bannon preferred to testify publicly, but Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat on the committee, told Nation World News the committee normally takes a statement behind closed doors.
“This goes on hour after hour after hour. We want to get answers to all our questions. And you can’t do that in a live format,” Lofgren said. “There are a lot of questions we have for him.”
Throughout the House committee hearings, videotaped excerpts of closed-door testimony from sworn witnesses have been shown to the public.
Trump has been irritated that none of his supporters have testified in his defense at the committee hearings, which, apart from the trial, focus on the attack by Trump supporters seeking to stop congressional certification of Trump’s defeat by part of Joe Biden in November. 2020 elections.
In a letter from Trump to Bannon seen by Reuters, Trump said he was giving up executive privilege because he “observed how unfairly you and others have been treated.”
The House panel is due to hold public hearings on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.