Former Trump aide Steve Bannon will not appear to give evidence before the House committee investigating the 6 January insurrection, his lawyer said on Thursday.
The ex-White House chief strategist turned podcast host was scheduled to appear for a deposition before the Select Committee to Investigate the 6 January attack on the United States Capitol under the terms of a subpoena issued to him last month.
Robert Costello, an attorney for Mr Bannon, told The Independent that the former White House chief strategist – now a podcast host – won’t be appearing before the committee despite having been ordered to by a subpoena issued to him last month. “He will not be testifying at this time,” Mr Costello said in a text message.
In a letter to committee chairman Representative Bennie Thompson, Mr Costello explained that Mr Bannon’s refusal to cooperate is based on a claim of executive privilege purportedly made by former President Donald Trump.
“Until such a time as you reach an agreement with President Trump or receive a court ruling as to the extent, scope and application of the executive privilege … Mr Bannon will not be producing documents or testifying,” he wrote.
Most legal experts say Mr Trump lost the ability to invoke executive privilege – a legal doctrine which protects presidents’ communications with advisers – when President Joe Biden was sworn in on 20 January, as the privilege belongs to the sitting chief executive and the office of the presidency, not a former president.