The chief White House strategist and former top campaign adviser to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, was found guilty of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents and testimony in response to a subpoena from the House Select Committee looking into the attack on the Capitol on January 6.
After less than three hours of deliberation, a jury of 12 citizens from Washington, D.C., found Steve Bannon guilty.
Steve Bannon, who declined to testify in his defense, may spend up to a year in jail on each of the two counts. He won’t be held in custody until the Oct. 21 sentencing date.
Steve Bannon was charged with contempt by the Justice Department after the House of Representatives voted to refer his non-compliance for criminal prosecution last year.
After Bannon entered a not guilty plea, there was a contentious legal dispute between the defense and the prosecution over which evidence was allowed to be used, Bannon’s attempts to delay the trial, and the ongoing televised hearings showcasing the evidence presented by the House Jan. 6 select committee, which repeatedly mentioned Bannon.
The subpoena was issued in September 2021 by the House committee, which concluded its final session of the summer on Thursday night. The panel asked Bannon for information on 17 important topics, ranging from his conversations with former President Trump to his knowledge of right-wing extremist groups’ coordination in attacking the Capitol.
While Bannon himself did not testify and his defense team did not bring any witnesses, prosecutors told the jury that Bannon believed he was “above the law” and “thumbed his nose” at congressional requests.
Steve Bannon Was Found Guilty Of Disobeying A House Subpoena
It’s “extremely unusual,” according to the chief attorney for the Jan. 6 committee, for witnesses who receive a congressional subpoena to blatantly refuse to appear, as Bannon did. One of the two witnesses questioned by the prosectors, Kristin Amerling, stated that the committee considered referring Bannon to the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress to be a “quite severe action.” She claimed that despite their warnings that Bannon might face criminal charges, he disregarded them.
Steve Bannon argued that executive privilege issues cited by the outgoing president prevented him from testifying at the time of his refusal. Amerling, however, claimed that the committee never heard from Trump regarding this impediment to removing Bannon and that the committee would not have accepted such a claim in the first place.