The Persecution of Steve Bannon - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Persecution of Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon in 2019 (Thor Brødreskift / Nordiske Mediedager/ Creative Commons)

Recall the name Brian Pagliano?

Former Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz does for sure. While in Congress a few years back and serving as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz did to Pagliano exactly what the January 6 committee has done to former Trump aide Steve Bannon.

That would be: the Oversight Committee issued a congressional subpoena for Pagliano, Hillary Clinton’s one-time IT guy who refused to testify to the Oversight Committee about the private email server Clinton used as secretary of state.

Over there at Fox News, the former Oversight Committee chair wrote this:

Though five years have passed since Hillary Clinton‘s State Department IT aide brazenly defied two congressional subpoenas to testify before the House Oversight Committee, which I chaired, Bryan Pagliano has still never been prosecuted. 

But in an unprecedented show of alacrity, the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week somehow managed to indict former Trump adviser Steve Bannon for the same charge in record time.

It turns out, congressional subpoenas can be enforced, but only if you play for the right team. 


On Monday, Steve Bannon was taken into federal custody with a court appearance scheduled the same day.

Another subpoena has been issued by the January 6 committee for former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, which Meadows has likewise defied.

Just as Chaffetz is saying, what’s really going on here is blatant corruption — a double standard that says if you worked for Trump and defy a subpoena you will be arrested. But if you worked for Hillary and defied a subpoena, well … no big deal. Never mind.

Not to mention that the two Never Trump Republicans on the January 6 committee, Reps. Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL), have made it a point to excuse Speaker Nancy Pelosi from a subpoena to find out what she knew and did on January 6 in terms of protecting the House side of the Capitol. Pelosi, of course, appointed them both to the committee over GOP objections. She also refused to accept House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s appointment of two pro-Trump Republicans — Ohio’s Jim Jordan and Indiana’s Jim Banks. Pelosi knew what to expect from the Never Trumpers, and they are delivering for her. (READ MORE: Investigate Pelosi and Her January 6 Committee)

Where are the demands from Cheney and Kinzinger for all of Pelosi’s records — phone logs and emails — that would help illustrate what was really happening as January 6 approached? Not to mention the same records of her staff and, oh yes, fellow January 6 committee member and Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin and his staff. Raskin, you see, serves on the House Administration Committee — the committee that oversees the Capitol Police. Here, directly from the committee, is a description of one of its specific responsibilities:

The House Administration Committee, which oversees security on the House side of the Capitol Complex, works closely with the Capitol Police to ensure that every effort is made to keep the Capitol Complex extremely secure while maintaining accessibility for the millions of constituents who visit every year.

Where are Cheney and Kinzinger in demanding the same treatment for Pelosi and Raskin as they are dishing to Meadows, Bannon, and a long list of Trump aides? Answer: nowhere. Why?

The reason Pelosi and Raskin are untouchable is the same reason Chaffetz has pointed out in his article on Bannon and Pagliano: “It turns out, congressional subpoenas can be enforced, but only if you play for the right team.”

Which is another way of saying that the January 6 committee is corrupt. It is about nothing more than the Never Trump version of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s “show trials” — in which Stalin’s enemies were put on trial, with the staged outcome already decided.

So too is the corruption of the Biden Department of Justice evident, as the “prosecution” of Steve Bannon vividly illustrates. What’s being done to Bannon — and to Mark Meadows — is not prosecution, it’s persecution.

And it’s a disgrace.

This image is licensed under the CC 2.0 license.
Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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