Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon finally appeared before the House Intelligence Committee after postponing several times, but Committee members weren’t satisfied with what he had to say, according to NBC News. While Bannon reportedly answered 25 questions during the closed-door session, he refused to say anything about his experiences with Trump after the November 2016 election.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as Bannon previously went before the committee, but with the same result. He wouldn’t discuss his time on Trump’s transition team or as a White House adviser. The House issued a subpoena after that encounter, and Bannon kept pushing off his testimony. Now that he’s finally gone before the Committee again, but without answering many of their questions, he could face serious consequences.
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) told NBC News that he intends to speak with attorneys and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan about holding Bannon in contempt of Congress. Such a charge could bring a penalty of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
It’s unknown what Bannon said to the Committee on Thursday, or what excuse he gave — if any — for not answering questions. In the past, he has used what was described as a “remarkably broad definition of executive privilege,” but that could pose problems because such privilege has to be invoked in advance, and whether Bannon even has a basis for it has been called into question.
Sources told NBC News that besides going before the House, Bannon met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s office multiple times this week, going through roughly 20 hours of discussions. It’s unknown what was discussed at those meetings, or if Bannon was more forthcoming in those talks.
[Image via MSNBC screengrab]