A House Democrat on Thursday interrupted the questioning of disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok during a House hearing Thursday to call for President Trump’s former campaign chairman Steve Bannon to be subpoenaed to testify before Congress.
Strzok had repeatedly told House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., that he would not answer his question about how many people the FBI interviewed in the first week of its investigation into Russian election meddling. That prompted House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who was also at the joint hearing, to warn Strzok would be held in contempt if he did not cooperate. Other GOP lawmakers started making similar arguments to Strzok.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., jumped in and said he moved to subpoeana former White House adviser Steve Bannon, and said “contempt proceedings” should take place if Bannon refused.
Swalwell made a case that if conservative lawmakers moved to hold Strzok in contempt, they would move to do so for Bannon. The former White House chief strategist was called to testify before Congress earlier this year but invoked executive privilege and was allowed to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing.
“In our House Intelligence investigation, he was under subpoena,” Swalwell said in the hearing. “He refused a number of times to answer questions of Mr. Gowdy. Mr. Gowdy appears to have a sincere interest in getting to the bottom of what happened. And so I move under Rule 11 to bring Mr. Bannon to this committee.”
Goodlatte overruled the motion, Swalwell protested, and lawmakers voted, but the Republican-controlled committees blocked the subpoena request in a party-line vote.