What’s Contempt of Congress and Executive Privilege?

This clash between two co-equal branches of government is playing out as Congress tries to get information on the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

The U.S. Congress has the power to demand testimony and documents and to hold accountable those who refuse to comply. Stephen Bannon, the former adviser to then-President Donald Trump, has been indicted for defying subpoenas by the special congressional committee investigating the assault. Presidents can wield the power known as executive privilege to declare swaths of information off-limits to the legislative branch.

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