President Trump on Saturday sent a letter to Steve Bannon relieving him of the executive privilege he had previously invoked on their communications, and allowing him to testify before the January 6 Committee.
"I write about the Subpoena that you received in September 2021 from the illegally constituted Unselect Committee, the same group of people who created the Russia Russia Russia scam, Impeachment hoax #1, Impeachment hoax #2, the Mueller Witch-Hunt (which ended in no "Collusion"), and other fake and never-ending yarns and tales," Trump began in the letter obtained by Human Events Daily's Jack Posobiec for The Post Millennial.
"When you first received the Subpoena to testify and provide documents, I invoked Executive Privilege. However, I watched how unfairly you and others have been treated, having to spend vast amounts of money on legal fees, and all of the trauma you must be going through for the love of your Country, and out of respect for the Office of the President.
"Therefore, if you reach an agreement on a time and place for your testimony. I will waive Executive Privilege for you, which allows for you to go in and testify truthfully and fairly, as per the request of the Unselect Committee of political Thugs and Hacks, who have allowed no Due Process, no Cross-Examination, and no real Republican members or witnesses to be present or interviewed. It is a partisan Kangaroo Court.
"Why should these evil, sinister, and unpatriotic people be allowed to hurt and destroy the lives of so many, and cause such great harm to our Country? It has been, from the time I came down the escalator at Trump Tower, a political hit job against the overwhelming majority of Americans who support the concept and policy of Making America Great Again and putting America First. Good luck in all of your future endeavors," Trump concluded.
Following this letter, attorney's representing Bannon sent a letter to January 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, saying that "On the morning of October 19, 2021, you denied our request for a one week adjournment in light of the filing of a lawsuit by President Donald J. Trump. Later that same day, your Committee voted to recommend Stephen K. Bannon to the full House for a finding of criminal contempt. After that, later that same evening, you wrote to me to make a point that your Committee was always willing to hear Mr. Bannon's testimony should he 'change his posture' or should circumstances change."
"Mr. Bannon has not had a change of posture or of heart," the letter continued. "Mr. Bannon has always been consistent, that because President Trump invoked executive privilege with respect Mr. Bannon's testimony and the production of requested documents, Mr. Bannon was obligated to honor the President's invocation, unless and until, either your Committee reached a constitutionally required accommodation with President Trump as to the invocation of executive privilege or your Committee obtained a ruling from the Federal District Court that the invocation of executive privilege was improper or did not apply to the particular question or document sought. I consistently informed you that if either of those events took place, Mr. Bannon would comply with the decision.
"While Mr. Bannon has been steadfast in his convictions," the letter reads, noting that Trump's letter is attached, and that "circumstances have now changed. President Trump has provided us with a letter, which is attached, attesting to the fact that back in October 2021, he did invoke executive privilege with respect to Mr. Bannon's testimony and document production. Further, in light of the surrounding circumstances, even in the absence of any effort by your Committee to reach the requested accommodation with President Trump, President Trump has decided that it would be in the best interests of the American people to waive executive privilege for Stephen K. Bannon, to allow Mr. Bannon to comply with the subpoena issued by your Committee. Mr. Bannon is willing to, and indeed prefers, to testify at your public hearing."
This letter comes only weeks before Bannon was scheduled to be tried for contempt of Congress for failing to comply with the subpoena in the first place. The Committee has long been seeking to obtain testimony from Bannon, since issuing the subpoena in September 2021.
When Bannon was first subpoenaed by the Committee, Trump invoked executive privilege, as Bannon was a chief strategist. Now Trump is willing to give up that claim, according to the Washington Post, if Bannon and the Committee can agree to terms. By November 2021, Bannon was charged with contempt of Congress for not complying with the subpoena, and he surrendered to the FBI.
Because Bannon was not working with the Trump administration at the time of the Capital riot on January 6, the Committee has claimed that Trump's invocation of executive privilege was invalid.
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