Then-US President Donald Trump congratulates White House strategist Stephen Bannon in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2017. (Photo by Getty Images)
American political analyst Myles Hoenig says the US House committee investigating the January 6 assault on the Capitol is hoping others will flip, following the indictment of former US President Donald Trumpís adviser Steve Bannon.
Hoenig said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday that "Bannonís indictment is unusual, and is a political act as well as a legal one."
A federal grand jury on Friday charged Bannon with one count of contempt of Congress for failing to appear for an October 14 deposition before the panel and another for refusal to provide documents.
The 67-year-old now faces two charges of contempt of Congress which are punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000.
US Justice Department spokesperson Bill Miller said on Friday Bannon is "expected to self-surrender" on Monday in Washington.
US Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger and Republican Liz Cheney are two Republicans who sit on the January 6 panel. Kinzinger said in an interview on Friday evening that the indictment shows that those who are asked to speak to the panel in future "cannot ignore Congress."
"The reality is, you may not like it--- you may not like the investigation. You may think nothing wrong was done, but youíre not going to be able to avoid it," Kinzinger said.
Schiff: Bannonís indictment will lead others to comply with House panel
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday said the Justice Departmentís move to charge Bannon with contempt of Congress will "without a doubt" sway others to cooperate with the House committeeís subpoenas.
"And indeed even before the Justice Department acted, it influenced other witnesses who were not going to be Steve Bannon," Schiff (D-Calif.) said.
"Now that witnesses see that if they donít cooperate, if they donít fulfill their lawful duty when subpoenaed, that they too may be prosecuted, it will have a very strong focusing effect on their decision-making. So itís very positive. I view this as an early test of whether democracy was recovering. If our law is to mean anything, it has to be applied equally. And so Iím very glad that Justice Department has moved forward in this fashion," he told NBC News.
Ahead of the vote, Schiff said, "We are here this afternoon to test a proposition as old as the countryís founding. Are we a nation of laws? We are here because one man has decided that we are now only a nation of men, and that rich and powerful men need not follow the law. And the question we must confront is nothing less than this: Is he right?"
"Are some people now truly above the law, beholden to nothing and no one, free to ignore the law and without consequence?"
Hoenig said, "Representatives Kinzinger and Schiff are crowing about how the indictment of Steve Bannon is a sign that we are a nation of laws, that no man is above the law. It doesnít matter to them that lying to Congress, even when under oath, is forgivable, if you lie for the right side."
"John Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, openly lied to Congress and the consequence is a seat at the table for CNN to talk about how bad others are. Adam Schiff spent more than four years bellowing about Russiagate, only it being a major fraud perpetrated by the Democratic Party for losing to someone like Trump," he stated.
"Bannonís indictment is unusual, and is a political act as well as a legal one. Political in that during the Trump administration the Department of Justice chose not to indict so many who refused to appear before Congressional hearings. What effect this has on the January 6 hearing is yet to be seen. Bannon could serve his time like a good soldier or he could fold, spill his guts to the committee to avoid a long prison sentence if heís convicted. But a trial would likely not occur well into the time of a likely Republican Congress and the hearings could be moot by then. So, the timing of this indictment is consequential," he said.
"The question is will others flip, rat out their cult leader and colleagues, or stand their ground now that a major player in the Trump administration has been targeted by the Department of Justice. Indictment is very personal. Michael Cohen, who said heíd take a bullet for Trump, was indicted and sang like a canary, but not spared prison. General Flynn was indicted but held off testifying for a pardon," he said.
"There are others on the hit list for Attorney General Garland, including Meadows, Trumpís chief of staff. This indictment of Bannon is a message that the Biden White House will pursue criminal charges for those who buck the investigation. However, everyone of those being mentioned are the fall guys. No one has even mentioned subpoenaing Donald Trump himself to appear. Once executive privilege is fully defined, weíll see how far up the ladder these hearings go and whether Bannonís indictment resonates the way the committee hopes it does," he concluded.