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Stephen Bannon is willing to testify publicly before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, his lawyer told the panel in a letter Saturday, in a stark change of course after former President Trump said he would waive executive privilege.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the House panel, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Bannon’s attorney had sent a letter to the committee indicating his willingness to testify. Multiple outlets published the letter later on Sunday morning.
“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,” Bannon’s attorney Robert Costello wrote in the letter.
“Mr. Bannon is willing to, and indeed prefers, to testify at your public hearing,” he wrote.
Bannon is set to go on trial later this month for defying a subpoena from the House panel. The Justice Department indicted Bannon in November after the full House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.
Costello’s letter contained an attachment signed by Trump, which the former president also posted on his Truth Social platform, stating he would waive executive privilege if Bannon reached an agreement on the time and place for his testimony.
“When you first received the subpoena to testify and provide documents, I invoked executive privilege,” Trump wrote. “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.”
Multiple members of the panel have signaled a desire to hear testimony under oath from anyone with information relevant to the committee’s investigation. Lofgren on Sunday told CNN it was likely Bannon would testify.
The Hill has reached out to the Jan. 6 committee, Bannon’s attorney and Trump’s team for comment.
In the attached letter signed by Trump, the former president railed against the House committee’s work, labeling the investigation a “partisan kangaroo court” and calling the panel’s members “thugs” and “hacks.”