/  07.22.2022

A federal jury found Donald Trump’s former strategist, Steve Bannon, guilty of contempt. Bannon was charged with intentionally ignoring a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 2021 attack at the United States Capitol.

After a two-day trial, the jury reached a unanimous decision on the two contempt charges on Friday (July 22). The ex-adviser reportedly smiled as the verdict was read. His sentencing date is Oct 21, and he is facing up to 30 days in prison. Bannon’s legal team didn’t even build a defense, and he didn’t take the stand. His attorney, Evan Corcoran, told the jury, “Mr. Bannon was not in a position to testify.” After blowing off October deadlines to produce the documents and testimony, Trump’s aide was indicted in November 2021.

The committee argues that Bannon played a “multifaceted role” in the Capitol attack.  They pointed to his contact with Trump leading up to the riot, in addition to his presence in an alleged “war room” filled with Trump allies. Bannon predicted “all hell” would “break loose” ahead of the assault on his podcast.

The House committee voted to hold Bannon in contempt in October 2021. They wrote in a report, “In short, Mr. Bannon appears to have played a multi-faceted role in the events of January 6th, and the American people are entitled to hear his first-hand testimony regarding his actions.” In their closing argument on Friday, the Justice Department told the jury, “This is a simple case about a man — that man — who didn’t show up,” prosecutor Molly Gaston said. Bannon, she argued, “did not want to recognize Congress’ authority or play by the government’s rules.”

Steve Bannon is one of two former White House employees failing to cooperate. Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro was also indicted by a grand jury in June 2022 for not cooperating with a subpoena and pleaded not guilty.

 

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