Longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon could face criminal prosecution for refusing to co-operate with a probe into the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol after the House of Representatives voted Thursday to hold him in contempt of Congress.
The Democratic-led chamber voted 229 to 202 with nine Republicans joining Democrats to recommend the charges against Bannon, who served as an aide to the former Republican president.
The matter will now be referred to the US Justice Department, where Attorney-General Merrick Garland will make the final decision on whether to prosecute.
Bannon has refused to comply with subpoenas from the January 6 select committee seeking documents and his testimony, citing Trump's insistence that his communications are protected by the legal doctrine of executive privilege.
"What sort of precedent would it set for the House of Representatives if we allow a witness to ignore us?" Democrat and committee chairman Bennie Thompson said before the vote.
The committee voted unanimously on Tuesday in favour of the charges.
The Democratic-led panel hopes the threat of jail time - contempt of Congress carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and a $US100,000 fine - encourages co-operation from the 18 other Trump aides and rally organisers who also have been subpoenaed.
Garland has yet to indicate how the department will respond.
Most of Trump's fellow Republicans in Congress opposed even creating either an independent commission or a select committee to investigate the events surrounding January 6.
That day thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol after he urged them in a fiery speech to protest his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden in a November 2020 election that Trump falsely claims was stolen.
Only two Republicans - Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger - are on the nine-member select committee.
Australian Associated Press