Speaker Johnson Sides With Steve Bannon

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(TargetLiberty.org) – House leaders, under the guidance of Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), have announced plans to submit an amicus brief supporting Steve Bannon’s appeal against his conviction for contempt of Congress. Bannon, a former adviser to President Trump, was convicted in 2022 for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the January 6 select committee, which required him to provide testimony and documents.

Bannon is currently challenging his conviction in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and has sought emergency relief from the Supreme Court to avoid starting his four-month prison sentence by July 1.

The decision to support Bannon’s appeal was made by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group—a House entity comprising leaders from both major parties. This group directs the legal stances of the House and voted along party lines to proceed with the brief. According to a joint statement by Johnson, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the brief will be neutral, not supporting either party directly. It will also retract some arguments previously made by the House concerning the organization of the select committee during the prior Congress. They claim that the previous leadership, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mishandled the formation of the committee.

This move represents a strategic attempt to challenge the legitimacy of actions taken by the previous Congress under different leadership. Johnson disclosed his intentions to file the brief in interviews with major news networks, criticizing the January 6 committee’s foundation and accusing it of producing biased results and possibly concealing evidence.

This legal initiative follows a pattern of Republican criticism of the committee’s legitimacy and its subpoenas, though these objections have not yet succeeded in court. It also comes after Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.) urged Johnson to support Bannon’s legal battle. Banks had been blocked by Pelosi from serving on the committee, leading to a broader dispute over the committee’s bipartisan nature.

Johnson, in his statements, has denied that supporting Bannon’s appeal will weaken Congress’s authority to enforce its subpoenas in the future. This situation highlights ongoing partisan tensions over the interpretation and legacy of the January 6 investigations.

Copyright 2024, TargetLiberty.org