Russian Federation probe: Steve Bannon won't testify earlier than Home committee on Tuesday

08 February, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Bertha Harmon
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The committee's Republican chairman, Devin Nunes, referred questions to the lead Republican in its Russian Federation investigation, Mike Conaway, who didn't immediately respond.

"Testifying before the Special Counsel does not obviate Mr. Bannon's obligations under the subpoena issued by the Committee", Schiff said.

California Rep. Adam Schiff said Bannon's lawyer told the committee he is barred from talking about matters during the presidential transition, his time at the White House and communications with President Donald Trump since he left in August.

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Schiff says the WH is still holding up Bannon's testimony to House Intel and they've rescheduled his interview to next week: "Should Bannon maintain his refusal to return and testify fully to all questions, the Committee should begin contempt proceedings to compel his testimony". This is the third time the committee has had to delay Bannon's testimony after his initial appearance last month.

Lewandowski had been expected to return for a second, voluntary session behind closed doors to answer questions from the committee that he declined to answer in his January 17 appearance - those touching on any topic after his departure from Trump's presidential campaign.

Schiff said that neither Bannon nor Lewandowski had given "legitimate" reasons for refusing to appear, and that they were expected to return. "But again, I expect him to be here to answer the questions and go from there".

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Lewandowski was sacked as Trump's campaign manager on June 20, 2016. Executive privilege is a concept that originated with former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and argues that the president must be able to protect internal discussions in order to ensure that he or she will be able to receive honest advice from staff members.

Gerhardt added that the degree to which the White House can exert control over his testimony before investigators depends on Bannon and his team. "But, Bannon is not the one to assert executive privilege - only the president can do that", Gerhardt told Business Insider. Conaway said. "There are questions that need to be answered". But he fell from grace with the president after voicing disparaging views of White House operations and other Trump advisers in author Michael Wolff's recently published book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

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