Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist, and Corey Lewandowski, former Trump campaign manager, may face subpoenas if they continue to refuse to answer lawmaker’s questions.
Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has said in a statement that Bannon’s lawyers won’t allow him to answer the committee’s questions about his time on President Donald Trump’s transition team or about his work with the administration. Schiff stated, “[T]he White House has limited his testimony to a set of fourteen yes-or-no questions they pre-approved…At no point has the president invoked executive privilege.”
The committee has already granted Bannon three extensions to a previous subpoena which was issued mid-hearing last month when he refused to answer the committee’s questions. Schiff has indicated that if Bannon continues to refuse, he could be held in contempt. Bannon also faces a subpoena as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and is expected to be interviewed next week.
Lewandowski appeared before the committee last month, but, according to Schiff was “unprepared” to answer questions, and promised to return at a later date. Despite his promise, Lewandowski’s counsel has told the House Intelligence Committee that he will not return or give further testimony.
Schiff’s response to Lewandowski’s and Bannon’s lack of cooperation is to take further legal action. Per Schiff, “Neither Bannon nor Lewandowski have articulated legitimate grounds for refusing to appear and answer questions before Congress, and we fully expect them to return…It will therefore be necessary for our committee to enforce the subpoena on Bannon, and now move to compel Lewandowski’s testimony, among other outstanding steps needed to advance the investigation.”
This investigation is something from which neither Bannon or Lewandowski can hide. If they don’t fully cooperate, consequences will definitely follow.