Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon had a date with the House Intelligence Committee today.
Looks like he’ll be standing them up.
Reuters and other outlets are reporting that Bannon will not show up to be questioned today, in spite of a subpoena.
Representative Mike Conaway, a senior Republican committee member, told reporters on Monday he expected Bannon to comply with a subpoena and answer questions on Tuesday.
But two sources familiar with the situation said he would not appear, which could leave Bannon facing a charge of contempt of Congress.
Bannon has already appeared before the committee on January 16. At that time, there were questions he refused to answer, mainly pertaining to his time with Trump’s campaign and the transition period.
Today’s issue seems to be that the matter of executive privilege and what Bannon could and could not comment on has not been settled between the White House and the Intelligence Community.
The House Intelligence Committee is one of three congressional committees, along with the Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller, investigating the allegations of Russian influence.
The source said Bannon would answer all of Mueller’s questions when he appears before him, which is expected next week.
How the tone of questioning may differ between the House Intelligence Committee and that of Mueller’s team – outside of the furtive winks and nods between Bannon and Devin Nunes – remains unknown.
All we can know for sure is that the Mueller interview may be less political theater, more genuine investigatory work.
That may also be the reason Bannon is keeping his cards close to his vest, for now.