Missouri Paper Blasts House Republicans After Bannon Contempt Vote, Says GOP 'Coddles Criminals'

The editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sharply criticized House Republicans Saturday after the majority of them voted against approving a criminal contempt referral against Steve Bannon, an ex-White House adviser to former President Donald Trump.

"For anyone who still needs it, most Republican House members last week provided more evidence that the GOP—once the 'law-and-order' party—is now the party that coddles criminals," the editorial board wrote in a piece published Saturday afternoon.

"By overwhelmingly voting against holding Donald Trump crony Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for his refusal to testify in the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, this shameful roster (including all six of Missouri's GOP House members) is once again running interference for a lawless ex-president who tried to overthrow a valid election," the editorial board added.

The House voted 229-202 to send the referral to the Justice Department. The referral came after Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena issued by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack against the Capitol.

Bannon's lawyer told lawmakers last week that his client would disregard the subpoena, citing Trump's claims of executive privilege

Only only nine Republicans joined Democrats in approving the measure on Thursday: Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Fred Upton of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and John Katko of New York.

During the vote on Thursday, Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican who opposed the contempt vote, pointed out that Bannon "was a private citizen before, after and during January 6."

Missouri Newspaper Blasts Republicans After Contempt Vote
The editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sharply criticized House Republicans Saturday after the majority of them voted against approving a criminal contempt referral against Steve Bannon, an ex-White House adviser to former President Donald Trump. Above Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court on August 20, 2020 in New York City. Stephanie Keith

"So why is the select committee interested in Steve Bannon? It's simple. He's a Democrat party boogeyman," he said, according to NPR.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's editorial board argued that the "crime that Bannon committed" was "pretty clear-cut" and said that the investigation "to establish exactly who did what in advance of a mob attack on the seat of America's government is not only justified but required."

"Congress has the legal authority to subpoena relevant witnesses for that probe. Those who defy such subpoenas are breaking the law," the newspaper said.

"And the party that tries to shield those lawbreakers should stop pretending it cherishes law and order," the editorial board added.