Steve Bannon says he’s willing to testify before Jan. 6 panel after Trump waives claims of executive privilege

Former President Trump said he has waived executive privilege to allow Steve Bannon to testify before the Jan. 6 committee, according to a letter sent he sent his former adviser on Saturday.

What’s new: The Department of Justice said Trump’s attorney Justin Clark told the DOJ on June 29 “that the former President never invoked executive privilege over any particular information or materials” related to Bannon, per a motion filed in the District Court in DC early Monday and obtained by the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell.

Why it matters: Last November, a federal grand jury indicted Bannon on two counts of contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with a subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 panels.

The big picture: In the letter, Trump recounted how he had invoked executive privilege when Bannon first received his subpoena from the committee.

  • However, he said he decided to reverse his stance after watching “how unfairly” Bannon and others had 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.”
  • If a time and place could be agreed upon for testimony, Trump wrote that he would waive executive privilege, “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.”

In a letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the Jan. 6 committee, a lawyer for Bannon wrote that his client would be willing to testify and would prefer to do so at a public hearing.

  • “Mr. Bannon has not had a change of posture or of heart,” Robert Costello wrote, but he noted that “circumstances have now changed,” in reference to Trump’s decision to waive executive privilege.

State of play: Damning testimony from the Jan. 6 committee has been drawing in millions of viewers and seeking to emphasize the direct ties between Trump and the violence on Jan. 6.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with details from the DOJ’s court filing.

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