Jan 6 committee calls a timeout after Bannon agrees to testify. Afraid of something?

The Jan. 6 committee appeared to call a timeout Monday as the anticipated schedule for the week was jettisoned thanks in part to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Early reports had indicated that, along with a 10 a.m. hearing to be held Tuesday, the show trial had set its sights on its second primetime performance for Thursday.

Now, not only have they scrapped any intention of a hearing later this week, Tuesday’s production was bumped to 1 p.m., conveniently timed for when President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador, according to the Daily Mail.

As Lisa Desjardins of PBS Newshour reported, “The expected J6 Thursday prime time hearing is being rescheduled. Why? Being told – it’s due to more information the committee is/has gotten. Asking but not yet clear if Cipollone, his 8 hours of deposition last [week] plays a role in this change.”

Pat Cipollone, former White House counsel, had testified Friday and the committee was said to have found his information useful. Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said, “He was the White House counsel at the time. He was aware of every major move, I think, that Donald Trump was making to try to overthrow the 2020 election and essentially seize the presidency. I considered his testimony valuable.”

But the more pressing development appeared to be the change of heart from Bannon who has agreed to attend the hearing after refusing at length.

As previously reported, Bannon’s reversal looked to be a reaction to a letter from former President Donald Trump addressed to his former adviser confirming that executive privilege had been waived.

“When you first received the subpoena to testify and provide documents, I invoked executive privilege,” Trump wrote. “However, I watched how unfairly you and others have 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 and out of respect for the office of the president.”

Bannon’s decision to testify before the Jan. 6 committee also came about a week ahead of the commencement of a trial against him for contempt of Congress which he had attempted to delay because “It would be impossible to guarantee…a fair trial in the middle of much-publicized Select Committee hearings which purport to broadcast investigative ‘findings’ on topics that are referenced in the Indictment.”

With Bannon’s new acquiescence the committee has signaled that Tuesday’s hearing would focus on connections between the president had his associates to the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, according to the Mail.

The Jan. 6 committee has sought answers as to whether Bannon had discussed the results of the 2020 presidential elections with those groups and namely the leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio.

The Mail went on to note that Bannon had publicly stated an effort to post bail for Tarrio two nights prior to the breach of the Capitol on his podcast. “We put calls out last night trying to put bail up for the guy. It’s just not acceptable,” he said.

He later walked back that statement by telling the Washington Post he was “waived off” providing assistance but an unnamed party who “said they were all whack jobs so don’t get involved.”

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Kevin Haggerty

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