Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon found guilty of contempt of Congress

A federal jury found former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon guilty of contempt of Congress for refusing a subpoena to testify before lawmakers investigating the US Capitol attack.
Mr. Bannon, who ran Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was among hundreds of people called by a House committee to discuss the Jan. 6, 2021 Trump supporters’ assault on Congress.

The 68-year-old Republican strategist failed to show up on the day of the call or provide requested documents, and was charged on two counts of contempt of Congress.

Steve Bannon smiles in front of a sign that says: "no one is above the law".

Mr. Bannon ran the 2016 presidential campaign for Donald Trump. Source: A MONKEY / AP / Jose Luis Magana

On Friday, the 12-member jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Bannon guilty on both counts of misdemeanors.

Mr. Bannon, who served as Trump’s White House chief of strategy until he was fired in 2017, faces a minimum of 30 days in prison and a maximum of a year on each count.
Sentencing was set for October 21.
Speaking to reporters after the verdict, Bannon said: “We may have lost the battle today, but we are not going to lose this war.
“I support Trump and the Constitution.”
Benny Thompson and Liz Cheney, chairman and vice chairman of the House committee, welcomed the verdict, saying “no one is above the law.”
“Steve Bannon’s conviction is a victory for the rule of law and an important confirmation of the work of the Select Committee,” the statement said.

“Just as everyone who is responsible for the events of January 6 must be held accountable, anyone who interferes with our investigation of these cases must be held accountable.”

Presenting the government’s case, prosecutor Amanda Vaughn told jurors that Mr. Bannon had made a “considered decision” to disobey the subpoena.
Mr. Bannon’s lawyers did not call any witnesses during the brief trial, and he did not testify in his defense.
Mr. Bannon’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, denied that his client ignored the subpoena, saying the date was “subject to ongoing discussions and negotiations” and “flexible.”

According to Corcoran, the decision to disrespect Bannon was politically motivated.

Ms Vaughn said the House committee had reason to believe that Mr. Bannon and other advisers to Mr. Trump might have information about links between the White House and the Capitol rioters.
Mr. Bannon spoke with Mr. Trump the day before thousands of his supporters stormed Congress in an attempt to block confirmation of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory, according to the committee.
They were spurred on by Mr. Trump in a fiery speech outside the White House, during which he repeated his false allegations of electoral fraud.

After months of refusing to testify, Mr. Bannon finally agreed to cooperate with the House investigation in what prosecutors called “the last attempt to avoid accountability.”