On January 6, 2021, Donald Trump’s supporters gathered to attack the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., hoping their unity would overturn his loss in the 2020 election results. However, the event yielded no such action, and several figures in Trump’s circle were investigated for their involvement, including former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
Steve Bannon is the first person to be charged for his refusal to appear before the House committee, which has subpoenaed other top Trump aides that include former senior adviser Stephen Miller and former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
The one-time top adviser turned himself in on Monday on criminal contempt charges after refusing to show up for a deposition ordered by the House January 6 committee. Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury last Friday on two counts of contempt of congress. He was taken to the FBI’s Washington Field Office and taken into federal custody on Monday morning.
“This is going to be the misdemeanor from hell,” Bannon said outside the FBI’s Washington Office. In the afternoon, he made his appearance in the U.S. District court. Bannon live-streamed his arrival on court grounds, teling followers, “I want you guys to stay focused, stay on the message. Remember: signal, not noise. This is all noise, that’s signal.” He also spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, vowing to fight the charges. “What we’re doing is taking on this illegitimate Biden regime,” Bannon told reporters. He also addressed his supporters, telling them not to let the noise take them off message.
Steve Bannon is charged with one count of contempt for refusing to appear for a deposition and another for refusing to produce documents to the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. If convicted, he could face between 30 days to a year in prison on each charge with fines up to $100,000.
During the run-up to the riot, Bannon was a private citizen and revealed that Trump directed him not to produce documents or give testimony that could potentially reveal information that the former president’s lawyers are trying to legally protect. The indictment alleged that the former chief strategist has not communicated with the Select Committee in any way since accepting service of the subpoena on September 24, 2021.
Bannon was released on his own recognizance under some strict conditions that required him to surrender his passport, prohibiting him from traveling outside the United States. Although he is allowed to travel domestically, Bannon is required to notify the court if he is to leave the Washington, D.C., area. While no plea has entered yet, he is scheduled to attend a virtual hearing on Thursday morning.
During the hearing, the former chief president was represented by David Schoen, an Alabama-based attorney who participated in Donald Trump’s legal team during his second impeachment trial earlier the year. The former president was impeached by the House on a single charge of incitement of insurrection for instigating the January 6 assault on the Capitol and was acquitted by the Senate.