Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, will not appear Tuesday before the House Intelligence Committee, bucking a subpoena for his testimony and setting the stage for a showdown as the panel probes Russian interference in USA elections, Fox News has learned.
"The House Intelligence Committee's interview with Stephen Bannon has been postponed at the Committee's initiative until next week", Emily Hytha, spokeswoman for Rep. Mike Conaway, the Republican running the committee's Russian Federation probe, said in a statement.
Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday that Lewandowski told the Committee that he was refusing to appear before them. In addition, the White House has barred Bannon from speaking about his time on Trump's transition team, his time on the president's staff, and his conversations with Trump after he left the White House, effectively giving investigators very little room to operate.
The top Democrat on the panel, Congressman Adam Schiff of California, said Bannon's lawyer told the committee this week the White House is continuing to block Bannon's testimony "beyond a set of 14 yes-or-no questions the White House had pre-approved".
The White House did not respond to a request for comment and neither did an attorney for Bannon. This is the third time the committee has had to delay Bannon's testimony after his initial appearance last month. Considering that this scheduled appearance was delayed twice because of negotiations on what questions Bannon could answer, it's likely that his decision will only further anger lawmakers on the committee. "Should Bannon maintain his refusal to return and testify fully to all questions, the committee should begin contempt proceedings to compel his testimony", Schiff said in a statement.
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Committee members from both parties have denounced the White House's prohibitions, and stated that they could hold Bannon in contempt of Congress. The panel wants him to appear again to follow up on a January 16 appearance that failed to satisfy some of its members.
Lewandowski was sacked as Trump's campaign manager on June 20, 2016.
One of the people says Bannon plans to tell Mueller "everything" he knows.
"It is not unusual for a White House to try to control the questioning of current or former employees,"Gerhardt said". But he fell from grace with the president after voicing disparaging views of White House operations and other Trump advisers in author Michael Wolff's recently published book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.