JUST IN: Bipartisan House Legal Group Votes J6 Committee Is ‘Illegitimate’


A U.S. House of Representatives bipartisan legal group concluded on Tuesday that subpoenas issued by the January 6th committee were “illegitimate” as part of proceedings sought by its GOP members to keep Steve Bannon from reporting to jail next month.

The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), which consists of five Republicans and Democrats in their parties’ leadership, announced the findings on Tuesday evening in a last-minute effort to boost Bannon’s appeal against a previous conviction for defying a congressional subpoena. Bannon is a former top advisor to President Donald Trump and maintains outsize influence in conservative media with his “War Room” podcast. The Republican strategist said he is prepared to report to jail on July 1st to begin serving his four-month sentence, Politico previously reported.

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As part of its investigation, BLAG determined that J6 committee chair, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), contributed to invalidating the subpoena of Bannon when she refused to fill vacancies on the committee intended for Republican members after then-GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) boycotted its hearings after Pelosi refused to seat two Republicans he had recommended. The findings contrast with rulings by federal judges which have found the committee was operating legally even as seats remained unfilled.

GOP members of BLAG, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), directed the House General Counsel to file an amicus brief in support of Bannon’s appeal. Democratic members of the committee — Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA) — voted against the measure. Their brief will be joined by one from Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who chairs the House Administration Committee’s subcommittee on oversight.

Speaker Johnson has expressed sympathy for Bannon and other Republicans who defied the J6 committee. Former Trump aide Peter Navarro is currently serving a four-month sentence while the Department of Justice declined to bring charges against former chief of staff Mark Meadows and deputy Dan Scavino. The decision to buttress Bannon’s appeal is another instance of Johnson seeking to assuage far-right members of the GOP caucus such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) who previously called for a vote by BLAG on the J6 committee.

“I believe the only way Steve Bannon does not go to jail is if there is a vote taken by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) — to tell the court that it is the official view of the House of Representatives that the J6 committee was illegitimate!” the Florida Republican previously stated.

One of President Trump’s final acts before leaving office was issuing a full pardon to Bannon, bringing to a halt a federal case alleging the strategist defrauded donors by millions of dollars, CNN previously reported. Bannon has filed a last-ditch appeal with the Supreme Court, which is expected to decide within the next week.

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