Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon entered a not guilty plea on Wednesday on two counts of contempt of Congress after he failed to cooperate with a House committee investigating the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol—setting up the first legal showdown over a former Trump advisor refusing to participate in the investigation.
Steve Bannon speaks before introducing a Republican at Oak Hollow Farm on December 5, 2017, in … [+] Fairhope, Alabama.
Bannon made the plea in a court filing Wednesday, waiving his right to an arraignment that was scheduled for Thursday.
Bannon, 67, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday on one count for failing to appear for a deposition before Congress and another count for failing to hand over documents—both were required by a subpoena.
On Monday morning, Bannon surrendered to the FBI in Washington, D.C.
He faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 if found guilty of contempt.
The committee is likely to next pursue contempt charges against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for not cooperating with the investigation, while Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), committee chairman, told Politico that contempt charges are “on the table” for former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who also ignored his subpoena.
Trump has encouraged his former aides not to comply with the investigation.
Bannon is one of dozens of former Trump Administration officials that have been subpoenaed as part of the House Select Committee’s investigation into the January 6 rioting. After receiving the subpoena, Bannon said he would refuse to comply, saying he had “executive privilege” that didn’t require him to take part in the investigation. Former President Donald Trump is locked in a court battle with the committee over an executive privilege claim, in an attempt to block the committee from retrieving White House emails, memos and other records as part of the investigation. Bannon’s request was rejected by the committee, which began contempt proceedings against Bannon on October 19. The bipartisan committee unanimously voted to hold Bannon in contempt, with the full House voting 229-202 on October 21 to recommend charges from the Justice Department, which came last week.
Bannon is the first person to be indicted for contempt of Congress since 1983.
The committee earlier this month subpoenaed 16 former Trump officials, legally requiring them to hand over documents and appear for a deposition as part of the January 6 investigation. The officials have a November 23 deadline to turn over documents or possibly face contempt charges.
Bannon Surrenders To FBI In Contempt Of Congress Case — And Hires Trump’s Impeachment Attorney To Defend Him (Forbes)
Steve Bannon Indicted For Contempt Of Congress After Refusing To Comply With Subpoena (Forbes)
House Holds Bannon In Contempt For Refusing Jan. 6 Subpoena — Criminal Charges Could Follow (Forbes)
Kayleigh McEnany, Stephen Miller Among Trump Officials Subpoenaed By House Jan. 6 Committee (Forbes)

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