Feature image – The Library of Congress

When he doesn’t show, Congress Should Use Contempt x 2

by Glenn Kirschner, …with Justice Matters

Update: 6:28pm EST: The head of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack announced Thursday that he has scheduled a vote to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.

The select committee will vote Tuesday on a report making the case that Bannon is in criminal contempt of Congress, according to its chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). That document will include language for a contempt resolution that could come to the House floor in the coming days.


[ Editor’s Note: One of the things l like about Kirschner is his ability to weigh in on the major political dramas of the day via his 30 years of prosecuting criminal cases, including highly complex RICO cases in the DC Court system.

Today he is posing what no one else has, and probably will not. He knows that Bannon will contest his subpoena and fight it through the courts, which typically will run years to resolve.

This set up seems to have been constructed by criminal attorneys so they can run cases out for years for their financial benefit.

So Glenn is posing a wiser, dual strategy; ‘yes’ to proceeding with the Dept. of Justice criminal referral to get that process started, but also having Congress use its arrest powers to bring Bannon in to one of the four Capitol building jail cells, to hold him and potentially three more people there.

The statutory authority to do this is already in place and would curtail Bannon’s podcasts where he can smile and go on and on how he beat the system and fire up the Trumpers even more.

The flip side of this is if the Select committee lets Bannon make fools of them, they will have deeply wounded the public confidence in their having the balls to fight the Trump machine if they do not use Congress’ inherent enforcement powers.

I am already concerned about why Biden gave the archives people 30 days to find the documents, giving the Dems lots of time to oppose that in court.

The document list has been with the Archives for some time, leading me to believe that when Biden asked for them, they would be ready to be turned over and beat the Insurrectionists to the punch in their delaying actions.

What is the deal with the committee dribbling these subpoenas out over time, which pushes the dates further out on finding out if they will be contested? We are almost a year away from the 2022 elections where the House and maybe even the Senate could be in Republican hands, and where the investigation would be over… Jim W. Dean ]

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Panorama of the US Capitol building

First aired … October 13, 2021

Steve Bannon has indicated that he intends to defy the congressional subpoena directing him to appear for testimony on October 14. Members of Congress have said they “will” refer him to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. That is an import step toward accountability for his crime of contempt of congress.

BUT – Congress should also use its inherent power of contempt to compel Bannon’s testimony in real time.

This video explores the novel concept of Congress using a legal “belt-and-suspenders” approach to enforcing its subpoenas: both referring Bannon for prosecution to punish him for his crime AND simultaneously using its inherent power of contempt to obtain the testimony the select committee needs to make progress in its investigation into the insurrection.


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  1. O.K., O.K. so the dems are in charge at the top now. And there is bipartisan support for keeping the true provonance of the 6th episode obfuscated. They have the vids, but no Bannon in them. The ole axiom, never ask a question to which you do not know the anewer seems to apply. I.e So why doll up to get even wider attention to an event when the resultz are unknown….
    Whose idea was this…???

  2. what is the point of congress having that law and not using it ? If Bannon is allowed to thumb his nose at congress and get away with it, then that would send a clear signal not only to him but to the other wingnuts out there that they can do worse.

  3. Kirschner makes the case to lock Bannon up now… AGAIN! He also wonders, along with Jim, why this is so not likely to happen? Is Congress beholden to something other than the rule of law? Of course they are! For the same reason that 1/6 was allowed to happen, bringing the real perps to justice is the last thing on Congress’ mind. That would give the whole game away.

    We. are inexorably headed for everything that Bannon stands for, Christo-fascism. This will not happen through elections or by the rule of law. It will be forced on us by a bunch of chosenites, most of whom are so-called Christian. It will be the end of the USA as we know it.

    • “””And lastly what is the deal with the committee dribbling these subpoenas out over time,”””

      The deal Jim,
      as I think you really know, is that the whole gang in D.C. and every State Capitol are all on the same team.
      Or better described as two stables of “professional” wrestlers, owned by the same entity, putting on a Big Show for the crowd.
      The objective is to make it look as real, and nasty as possible without anyone actually getting hurt; just richer.

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