Bannon turns self in to FBI after indictment for contempt of Congress
Washington, Nov 15 (EFE).- Donald Trump ally and former White House senior adviser Steve Bannon turned himself in at an FBI field office in Washington on Monday after being indicted last week on two charged for contempt of Congress for not responding to a subpoena from the special committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol.
Bannon, 67, has been charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the legislative panel investigating the riot at the Capitol by supporters of then-President Trump trying to block congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, the Justice Department said Friday.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment with two counts, one for Bannon’s defiance of a subpoena to testify, the other for his refusal to hand over documents, the department said in a statement If found guilty of contempt of Congress, Bannon could face between 30 days and one year in prison, as well as a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000.
“We’re taking down the Biden regime,” Bannon told journalists upon his arrival at the FBI field office on Monday. Addressing his supporters, Bannon said to a camera live-streaming the event: “I want you guys to stay focused … This is all noise.”
Bannon was accompanied by bodyguards dressed in black and wearing black facemasks.
The formal indictment came last Friday after on Oct. 21 the House of Representatives declared Bannon in contempt for refusing to appear before the Jan. 6 investigative committee probing the deadly assault on the Capitol by a mob who had been incited to march on the legislative seat by Trump himself.
Bannon told the committee he was unwilling to testify or provide documents until the courts resolve Trump’s claim that the information being sought is protected by executive privilege.
The indictment has been forwarded to the Department of Justice, which must decide if it will pursue the matter.
At this time, US Attorney General Merrick Garland has become the target of considerable political pressure to pursue the legal case against after the House decision.
The US attorney for the District of Columbia, Matthew M. Graves, noted in the indictment that he believes that the former Trump adviser has information relevant to the assault on the Capitol.
A criminal case against Bannon could take years to resolve and, according to CNN, cases involving contempt of Congress charges historically have been overturned by juries and during the appeals process.
Five people died as a result of the Jan. 6 disturbances, including a rioter fatally shot by law enforcement and a police officer who suffered a stroke during the confrontation. More than 140 law enforcement officers and security personnel were attacked in the gigantic melee by rioters armed with axes, baseball bats, hockey sticks and other objects, according to authorities.
The select committee wants to ask Bannon about comments he made during a Jan. 5 episode of his podcast.
“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” Bannon told his listeners. “So many people said, ‘Man, if I was in a revolution, I would be in Washington.’ Well, this is your time in history.”
He offered those remarks on the eve of a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington by Trump supporters who embraced his unfounded accusations of election fraud.
The assault came after a nearby rally at which Trump refused to accept his Nov. 3 election defeat and urged his followers to march on Congress, where lawmakers were gathered to certify Biden’s victory.