Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist for Donald Trump, has been charged on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, according to the Justice Department.
Bannon reportedly defied a subpoena from the Jan. 6 House committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. “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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement on Friday (Nov. 12). “Today’s charges reflect the Department’s steadfast commitment to these principles.”
Bannon was charged with one count related to his refusal to produce documents and one count related to his refusal to appear for a deposition. Each count carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in prison. He is expected to surrender to authorities on Monday (Nov. 15) and is scheduled to appear in court later that day.
Bannon’s indictment comes days after a judge blocked Trump’s attempt to keep White House records away from the Jan. 6 committee. In October, the former president filed a lawsuit to block the release of presidential records linked to his discussions surrounding the Capitol riot.
Additionally, on Friday, Mark Meadows, former White House Chief of Staff, resisted his own subpoena from the committee. Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Jan. 6 panel, said he will urge contempt charges against Meadows next week. If the house votes to hold him in contempt, that order could be sent to the Justice Department for a potential indictment.
“Mr. Meadows, Mr. Bannon, and others who go down this path won’t prevail in stopping the Select Committee’s effort getting answers for the American people about January 6th, making legislative recommendations to help protect our democracy, and helping ensure nothing like that day ever happens again,” Thompson and Rep. Liz Cheney said in a statement.