A jury found former Trump adviser Steve Bannon guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena, it was revealed on Friday.
Bannon faced two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to abide by subpoenas issued by the US House select committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021 at the Capitol. Bannon claimed executive privilege despite having left the White House long before January 6, 2021.
After the weeklong trial, the jury delivered their verdict in less than three hours. Matthew Graves, the US attorney for Washington DC, praised the verdict, underscoring that the subpoena “was not an invitation that could be rejected or ignored” by Bannon.
“Mr. Bannon had an obligation to appear before the House Select Committee to give testimony and provide documents,” Graves said in a statement. “His refusal to do so was deliberate and now a jury has found that he must pay the consequences.”
The hearing only included testimony from two witnesses, with Bannon’s team since explaining there was no need to “put on a defense” since there was a significant amount of reasonable defense to back him up.
Since the verdict was handed down, Bannon and company have vowed to appeal the decision while also taking the opportunity outside the courtroom to blast the Jan. 6 panel.
“I only have one disappointment, and that is the gutless members of that show trial committee, the J6 Committee didn’t have the guts to come down here and testify in open court,” Bannon told reporters. “We may have lost the battle but we’re not going to lose this war.”
Steve Bannon: "I only have one disappointment and that is the gutless members of that show trial committee, the J6 Committee didn't have the guts to come down here and testify in open court." pic.twitter.com/jkpJaKqo70
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 22, 2022
David Schoen, one of lawyers on Bannon’s defense team, remarked Friday that their appeal would be “bulletproof,” adding that “the overreaching by the government in this case has been extraordinary at every level.”
The Trump-era adviser had initially received the subpoena in September 2021 but proceeded to sidestep the committee’s request for testimony and other documents, ultimately forcing the panel to refer the matter to the US Justice Department. He later pleaded not guilty in November.
Bannon could face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. His sentencing is scheduled for October 21.