Trump ally Steve Bannon indicted for contempt of Congress over Jan. 6 probe subpoena
Bannon is the primary individual to face prices ensuing from the choose committee’s probe of the Jan. 6 invasion, when tons of of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol following months of Trump falsely claiming the 2020 election had been stolen from him.
In a press release later Friday, committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and vice chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., mentioned they’re contemplating contempt proceedings in opposition to one other Trump ally — former White Home chief of employees Mark Meadows — for failing to adjust to their subpoena.
Bannon, 67, faces two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to supply paperwork to the congressional investigators and refusing to take a seat for a deposition, the Division of Justice mentioned in a press launch.
A lawyer for Bannon informed the Home choose committee in October that he wouldn’t adjust to its subpoena as a result of Trump had instructed him to not produce any paperwork or testimony “regarding privileged materials.”
Bannon was a senior White Home advisor throughout the first seven months of Trump’s single time period in workplace. He was fired by Trump years earlier than the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which is the topic of the choose committee’s investigation.
Thompson rejected the reference to govt privilege, the doctrine that enables some govt department officers to maintain some communications confidential, as an argument for noncompliance with a congressional subpoena.
The choose committee shortly thereafter despatched a contempt decision to the complete Home of Representatives, which voted 229-209 to carry Bannon in contempt.
Every rely of contempt of Congress is a misdemeanor punishable by as much as one yr in jail and a most high-quality of $100,000.
A date has not but been set for Bannon to be arraigned in U.S. District Court docket for the District of Columbia.
“Since my first day in workplace, I’ve promised Justice Division staff that collectively we might present the American folks by phrase and deed that the Division adheres to the rule of regulation, follows the info and the regulation, and pursues equal justice below the regulation,” Legal professional Basic Merrick Garland mentioned within the DOJ’s press launch.
“In the present day’s prices replicate the Division’s steadfast dedication to those rules,” Garland mentioned.
Along with claiming his allies’ testimony is probably protected by govt privilege, Trump has asserted that privilege covers most of the White Home data being sought by the choose committee as a part of the Jan. 6 probe.
However President Joe Biden refused to invoke privilege over these data, prompting Trump to sue the committee in mid-October to dam the disputed paperwork.
A federal choose on Tuesday rejected the privilege arguments put ahead by Trump’s authorized group, writing that Trump’s view “seems to be premised on the notion that his govt energy ‘exists in perpetuity.’ … However Presidents will not be kings, and Plaintiff will not be President.”
Trump appealed the case the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which granted a brief injunction to withhold the discharge of the White Home data.
Trump, who by no means conceded the 2020 election to Biden, is hinting he’ll run for president once more in 2024.