(CNN) The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to hold Steve Bannon, one of former President Donald Trump's closest allies, in criminal contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
The vote by the full House to hold Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress sets up a referral to the Department of Justice, which would then have to decide whether to prosecute.
Earlier in the afternoon, the House voted to approve the rule providing for consideration of the contempt resolution.
"This isn't about punishing Steve Bannon," Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House committee, said Thursday.
"But Steve Bannon has led us down this path by refusing to cooperate in any way with our investigation.".
Holding Bannon in criminal contempt through a prosecution could take years, and historically, criminal contempt cases have been derailed by appeals and acquittals.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, when pressed by CNN on Thursday on whether he's okay with people defying congressional subpoenas, said the January 6 select committee's subpoena of Bannon is "invalid.". »