Steve Bannon has been found guilty by a federal jury of contempt of Congress, for defying a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riots at the Capitol. The jury deliberated for under three hours.
The jury heard testimony and other evidence over two days before it reached its unanimous verdict against Bannon, the former advisor to Donald Trump. He was convicted of two misdemeanors, one for contempt for refusing to appear at a deposition and one for contempt for refusing to produce documents.
The Select Committee Investigating January 6 had subpoenaed Bannon and his documents last fall, giving him an October deadline. A grand jury indicted him in November after he ignored their October deadline.
Just before the trial, Bannon said he would go ahead and testify but the Department of Justice moved forward with the trial instead. The Justice Department’s position was that they served a subpoena that was both legal and enforceable against Bannon and he simply ignored it.
Bannon faces up to two years in prison and up to a $200,000 fine. The minimum sentence he can receive is 30 days for each count. Sentencing is set for October 21.
Congress has not pursued contempt charges against anyone since Watergate, decades ago.
The January 6 Committee tweeted, “[t]he conviction of Steve Bannon is a victory for the rule of law and an important affirmation of the Select Committee’s work. As the prosecutor stated, Steve Bannon ‘chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law.’”
But see what Bannon had to say, after the verdict, about the January 6 Committee:
The January 6 Committee must be very happy to get that conviction. They want to be taken seriously and think that Bannon’s conviction will help. Do you think this helps them with their case against Donald Trump?