These letters would be in support of the Select Committee’s recommendation to hold former Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for his failure to honor a lawful subpoena requesting his testimony. The correspondence had been addressed by Banks to various federal agencies whom the Select Committee has asked to produce documents in support of its investigation. In the letters, Banks misrepresented himself as a member of that Committee and demanded that information produced to the Committee be sent to him as well.
Banks’ correspondence, obtained by Politico congressional reporter Olivia Beavers, was published on Twitter:
Although qualified by the vague assertion that Speaker Pelosi had “refused” to allow him to perform his “duties” as a “Ranking Member” of the Select Committee, Banks’ weasel language about his actual relationship to that the Committee is designed to misrepresent himself as an existing member. He is not and has never been a member of that Committee (with good reason, as this letter shows). It should also be noted (as TPM’s Josh Marshall does here) that prior to establishing the Select Committee, House Republicans were afforded more than ample opportunities to form a joint effort with Democrats in investigating the insurrection of Jan. 6, but they refused to do so.
As reported by Annie Grayer and Zachary Cohen for CNN, it’s not clear whether Banks’ correspondence itself is a violation of the House’s own rules (although misrepresenting yourself as a member of a Congressional Committee to gain access to documents would certainly seem to qualify). Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland has suggested it may be, calling the correspondence letter “delusional and fantastical.” Regardless, it demonstrates the degree of concern and alarm House Republicans feel about what the Select Committee may uncover as it digs into the motivation and logistical support for the Jan. 6 insurrection.
It also demonstrates what should have been clear to all by this time: Republicans will stoop to any tactic, however unethical or illegal, to prevent the American people from knowing exactly what occurred on that day, and why.