Advance Notice: Briefs

House holds Bannon in contempt of Congress

By: - October 21, 2021 3:44 pm

Steve Bannon speaks at Cobo, March 14, 2019 | Ken Coleman

The House voted 229-202 Thursday on a bipartisan resolution holding former President Donald Trump adviser Stephen Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena about his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The report will be sent to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution.

Bannon claimed executive privilege even though he left the executive branch in 2017. His attempt to skirt Congress is considered a test case for Trump and other allies who also are likely to try and defy subpoenas.

“No one is above the law. I voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt because he is willfully defying a lawful congressional subpoena. Congress must find the truth surrounding the January 6th insurrection & attack on our country,” U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) wrote on Twitter.

The House GOP caucus whipped against the bill. Michigan’s delegation was divided 9-5, with two Republicans, U.S. Reps. Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) and Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), voting with Democrats.

“Mr. Bannon refused to comply with a valid subpoena by a duly-formed committee, claiming broad exec privilege. There is no conceivable interpretation of exec privilege that applies to someone outside of gov’t, conferring with senior gov’t officials, on non-official matters,” Meijer wrote on Twitter. “Holding individuals who refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas in contempt is the sole recourse available to Congress to protect its power of inquiry (McGrain v Daugherty). I voted today to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress to protect this power.”

Only nine Republicans voted to hold Bannon in contempt, including U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s ranking member.


Both Upton and Meijer voted in January for Trump’s second impeachment for inciting the violent riot in which protesters tried to stop the Electoral College vote for President Joe Biden. They were the only two Michigan Republicans to do so. Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate.

After the insurrection, three Michigan Republicans — U.S. Reps. Lisa McClain (R-Bruce Twp.), Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) and Tim Walberg (R-Tipton) — voted against certifying votes in two states Biden won.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.