Former White House strategist Steve Bannon was indicted on Friday on contempt of Congress charges for his refusal to comply with a subpoena over an investigation of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
“Bannon, 67, is charged with one contempt count involving his refusal to appear for a deposition and another involving his refusal to produce documents, despite a subpoena from the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol. An arraignment date has not yet been set in the US District Court for the District of Columbia,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena issued by the committee in September demanding records of his communications with the Trump White House around the time of the attack that left five dead and more than 140 officers injured. Bannon also failed to appear for a hearing before the committee last month. The panel voted unanimously to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress.
As part of their investigation, the nine-member House committee is looking at the planning and response to the January 6 riot. That includes obtaining records and testimony from allies of former President Donald Trump like Trump’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and right-wing attorney John Eastman, who authored notorious “coup memos” that outlined ways then-Vice President Mike Pence could usurp Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Trump himself is also being subpoenaed for hundreds of records. On Thursday, an appeals court temporarily blocked the National Archives from turning over the documents while it considers Trump’s latest motion to “pause” the release of the trove of records. The filing argues that the former president “will suffer irreparable injury” if the documents are released.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said he had “promised” his department would follow the rule of law in issuing the charges against Bannon.
“Since my first day in office, I have promised Justice Department employees that together we would show the American people by word and deed that the department adheres to the rule of law, follows the facts and the law and pursues equal justice under the law,” Garland said in a statement. “Today’s charges reflect the department’s steadfast commitment to these principles.”
Each count of contempt of Congress carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a fine of $100 to $1,000.