A federal grand jury on Friday indicted Steve Bannon, a former adviser to former President Donald Trump, on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena to testify.
The Justice Department said Bannon faces one count for refusing to appear for an Oct. 14 deposition and a second count for refusing to provide documents related to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and ranking member Liz Cheney have accused Bannon of knowing about the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol before it happened. They seek to question him about discussions he had with Trump in the days before the violent insurrection in which radical Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as lawmakers were voting to certify the 2020 election.
If convicted, Bannon faces between 30 days and one year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.
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“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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “Today’s charges reflect the department’s steadfast commitment to these principles.”
Bannon is one of multiple Trump associates whom the Jan. 6 committee has subpoenaed, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who was supposed to appear for a deposition Friday.
Earlier this week, the committee also subpoenaed former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; senior adviser Stephen Miller; Nicholas Luna, Trump’s former personal assistant; Molly Michael, special assistant to the president and oval office operations coordinator; Benjamin Williamson, deputy assistant to the president and senior adviser to Meadows; Christopher Liddell, former White House deputy chief of staff; John McEntee, former White House personnel director; Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence; Cassidy Hutchinson, special assistant for legislative affairs to Trump; and Kenneth Klukowski, former senior counsel to Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark.
The committee said many of those subpoenaed either met with Trump on the day of the insurrection or spread information about allegations of election fraud.
Trump has instructed many of his fellow aides to defy subpoenas from the select committee, citing executive privilege.
Meanwhile, a federal appeals court on Thursday temporarily blocked the National Archives from releasing Trump’s White House records to the committee ahead of oral arguments for Trump’s appeal scheduled for Nov. 30.
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