Committee members see Bannon as a key figure because they think his podcasts contributed to radicalizing some of Trump’s supporters, and they have evidence showing that Bannon repeatedly talked to Trump and his advisers in the lead-up to Jan. 6.
Bannon also stands out, amid the scramble for pardons among lawmakers and Trump advisers working to overturn the election, as the only one who ultimately received clemency after Jan. 6. Though the reprieve was for a fraud case unrelated to Jan. 6, Bannon’s support for Trump after the election was a factor in the then-president’s last-minute decision to pardon Bannon, over the objection of his top White House lawyer and other advisers, according to a former senior administration official who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
The prospect of Bannon’s testimony could turn out to be a ploy. Bannon had defied the panel’s subpoena, citing Trump’s claim of executive privilege, even though Bannon was not in the government at the time of the attack. Now, with Bannon’s trial for contempt of Congress set to begin this month, Trump agreed on Saturday to waive his privilege claim and encouraged Bannon to testify after all.