Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury Friday after being charged with contempt of Congress for telling the Select Committee to go pound sand.
The indictment is a bit of a surprise as most believed Merrick Garland would wait until after Trump’s legal challenges play out in court.
If convicted, Bannon could face up to a year behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000. This will put pressure on Mark Meadows who just blew off the committee and was threatened with contempt charges. For the others in Trump’s orbit who have been subpoenaed, like Kayleigh McEnany, this may factor in their decisions whether to testify before the committee.
DOJ issued a press release that said: “Stephen K. Bannon was indicted today by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress stemming from his failure to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. 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 U.S. Capitol. An arraignment date has not yet been set in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“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,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Today’s charges reflect the department’s steadfast commitment to these principles.”
“As detailed in the indictment, on Sept. 23, 2021, the Select Committee issued a subpoena to Mr. Bannon,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia.
“The subpoena required him to appear and produce documents to the Select Committee, and to appear for a deposition before the Select Committee. According to the indictment, Mr. Bannon refused to appear to give testimony as required by subpoena and refused to produce documents in compliance with a subpoena.”
In its subpoena, the Select Committee said it had reason to believe that Bannon had information relevant to understanding events related to Jan. 6. Bannon, formerly a Chief Strategist and Counselor to the President, has been a private citizen since departing the White House in 2017.
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. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Stephen K. Bannon Indicted for Contempt of Congress— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) November 12, 2021
Two Charges Filed for Failing to Honor House Subpoena From Select Committee Investigating Jan. 6 Capitol Breachhttps://t.co/4SxgGiuLNx
BANNON INDICTED pic.twitter.com/tGM6Qzx974— Betsy Woodruff Swan (@woodruffbets) November 12, 2021