House GOP Plans Legal Move Against Jan. 6 Committee in Steve Bannon Case

House Speaker Mike Johnson announced Wednesday that House Republican leaders voted to file an amicus brief in Steve Bannon’s case, just days before the conservative media host is due to report to prison.

Leadership’s move comes amid a flurry of activity in the House to challenge the authority of the Jan. 6 committee established by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2021. Bannon’s four-month prison sentence—for failing to comply with committee subpoenas—is set to start July 1.

Bannon, a retired Navy officer and former executive chairman of Breitbart News, spent seven months as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor in 2017 after helping guide his successful 2016 campaign.

Former Trump administration adviser Peter Navarro is already serving a four-month prison sentence for contempt of Congress.

“The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group voted 3-2 to file a brief with the D.C. Circuit in the case against Steve Bannon,” Johnson, R-La., said in a joint statement with Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., and Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn. “The amicus brief will be submitted after Bannon files a petition for rehearing en banc and will be in support of neither party. It will withdraw certain arguments made by the House earlier in the litigation about the organization of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol during the prior Congress.”

“House Republican Leadership continues to believe Speaker Pelosi abused her authority when organizing the Select Committee,” the GOP leaders added.

As she was forming the committee in July 2021, Pelosi rejected then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s choice of Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to serve as the GOP’s representatives on the panel.

As a result of Pelosi’s decision, McCarthy refused to let Republicans participate in the “sham process.” Pelosi opted instead to select then-Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

Bannon praised the House’s move, telling Axios: “Speaker Johnson and House leadership showed tremendous courage in repudiating the illegally constituted J6 Committee and its activities/investigations.”

Johnson made two television appearances Tuesday night—on Fox News with Sean Hannity and CNN with Kaitlan Collins—to announce the House GOP’s plans.

“The previous statement of the House, under Speaker Pelosi, was incorrect,” Johnson told CNN. “We do not believe the Jan. 6 special committee was properly constituted. We don’t think it followed the House rules. And now we’re finding, under our own investigation, that they have in fact covered up some evidence. That’s a great concern to a lot of people.”

Earlier Tuesday, Banks sent a letter to Johnson encouraging the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group—made up of the House’s top Republican and Democrat leaders—to intervene.

“The January 6th Committee tossed aside 200 years of congressional precedent, destroyed evidence, and repeatedly broke House Rules to carry out a political vendetta and cover up Nancy Pelosi and never-Trumpers’ responsibility for the security disaster on January 6th,” Banks wrote. “It was a fake investigation, and Republicans should urge the Supreme Court to follow established precedent and throw away its illegitimate subpoenas.”

Separately, the Daily Caller reported Tuesday that Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., would file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court. Loudermilk, chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, also plans a House resolution seeking to invalidate the Jan. 6 committee’s report on Bannon.

Loudermilk specifically pointed to the Jan. 6 committee’s failure to consult with a Republican ranking member of the committee—since one didn’t exist—as a reason to invalidate Bannon’s conviction for criminal contempt of Congress.

In the days leading up to the House’s move, Bannon’s supporters pressured Republican leaders to act. Jeff Clark, a former high-ranking Justice Department official now with the Center for Renewing America, hailed the decision.

“Excellent news for Steve Bannon,” Clark wrote on X. “Prayer works!”

Bannon is awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on an emergency appeal.



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