Bannon is indicted for contempt of Congress

Steve Bannon is indicted for contempt of Congress for defying his January 6 committee subpoena: Trump adviser will turn himself in on Monday and faces up to two years in jail

  • President Donald Trump ‘s former top strategist Steve Bannon was indicted by a grand jury on Friday 
  • Bannon defied a subpoena to testify before the House’s select committee on the January 6th Capitol attack 
  • Two charges of contempt of Congress were filed against Bannon over his refusal to appear before the panel and hand over documents 
  • A judge has issued an arrest warrant and he will turn himself in on Monday in Washington D.C. to appear in court that afternoon
  • If convicted, Bannon could face as little as 30 days or up to one year in prison on each count

Steve Bannon was indicted by a grand jury on Friday after he defied a subpoena to testify before the House’s select committee on the January 6th Capitol attack

President Donald Trump’s former top strategist Steve Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday for defying a subpoena to testify before the House’s select committee on the January 6th Capitol attack. 

Two charges of contempt of Congress were filed against Bannon, a former White House staffer, over his refusal to appear before Congress and give up documents in the probe. 

A judge issued an arrest warrant and he is expected to surrender in Washington D.C. on Monday to appear in court, 26 days after the House voted to send his criminal referral to the Justice Department. 

‘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,’ said Attorney General Merrick Garland in a statement announcing the indictment. ‘Today’s charges reflect the department’s steadfast commitment to these principles.’ 

If convicted, Bannon could face as little as 30 days or up to one year in prison on each count.  Fines range between $100 and $1,000. 

Just moments before the charges were announced and likely before he was informed, Bannon told his War Room podcast listeners: ‘Remember, there are no whining and no tears in the War Room.

‘We’re taking action and that action is we’re taking over school boards, we’re taking over the Republican Party through the precinct committee strategy. We’re taking over all the elections.’

Bannon’s lawyer Robert Costello his client would not comply with any committee requests because Trump had directed him not to and argued that any testimony being sought was protected by executive privilege. 

Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows, who also defied his testimony by refusing to appear on Friday, is also using the executive privilege argument and is being loyal to Trump. 

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the committee, told CNN as the news broke that he hopes Bannon’s indictment sends a ‘chilling message’ to other witnesses who are considering ignoring subpoenas. 

It is the second time Bannon has been indicted in 15 months. In August 2020 he was charged with duping thousands of donors who believed their money would help build Trump’s wall, but the former president pardoned him the night before Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

Congressional investigators said they were interested in hearing from Bannon, who has been a private citizen since 2017, because he reportedly communicated with Trump on December 30, telling the president he should focus his energy on January 6, when Congress was set to certify President Joe Biden’s election. 

According to journalist Bob Woodward, Bannon was among the Trump allies who met the day before January 6 MAGA riot at the Willard Hotel. 

At a so-called ‘war room’ meeting at the property, Bannon and Trump lawyer John Eastman were among those trying to pressure Vice President Mike Pence into tossing out electoral vote counts from states where Trump was falsely claiming voter fraud.   

Eastman tried to push a fringe legal theory that because Pence was presiding over the count he could pick and choose slates of electors.      

The select committee said that Bannon was quoted saying on January 5 that ‘all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.’

Bannon’s indictment is unique, NBC News reported, as no individual has ever been charged with contempt of Congress when executive privilege has been asserted. 

The privilege claim, however, came from Trump. 

Additionally, past defendants have been pressed to testify about their government service. 

Bannon hadn’t been a White House official for several years by the time he met with the president’s allies on January 5. 

Beyond Bannon, Mark Meadows is facing criminal contempt of Congress charges for refusing to appear for testimony in front of the January 6 committee on Friday.

Panel chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, wrote to Meadows’ attorney on Thursday night to say there is ‘no valid legal basis’ for Meadow’s noncompliance with panel’s subpoena and gave him until 10am on Friday to respond.

Meadows defied the request and now could be the second Trump ally to be potentially hit with charges after the House referred Bannon’s to the Department of Justice last month. 

The next step will be for Congress to hold a vote over whether to give Meadows a criminal refer in a move the Democratic majority will likely pass.  

The White House counsel’s office told Meadows he had no claims of privilege to avoiding appearing before the committee and on Thursday Thompson warned that Meadows could face criminal charges if he doesn’t appear.

‘The Select Committee will view Mr. Meadows’s failure to appear at the deposition, and to produce responsive documents … as willful non-compliance. Such willful noncompliance with the subpoena would force the Select Committee to consider invoking the contempt of Congress procedures,’ Thompson noted, ‘which could result in a referral from the House of Representatives to the Department of Justice for criminal charges.’ 

Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger has said his client ‘remains under the instruction of former President Trump to respect longstanding principles of executive privilege.’ 

‘Legal disputes are appropriately resolved by courts,’ said Terwilliger said in a statement Friday morning. ‘It would be irresponsible for Mr. Meadows to prematurely resolve that dispute by voluntarily waiving privileges that are at the heart of those legal issues.’ 

The House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection in the Capitol told former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows that he must appear for his deposition at 10 am on Friday or he will be considered in contempt of Congress.

The panel had said it was subpoenaing Meadows because he was within the ‘vicinity’ of Donald Trump on Jan. 6, and had communications with Trump and others ‘regarding the events at the Capitol’ and ‘are a witness concerning events that day’ 

White House deputy counsel Jonathan Su wrote to George Terwilliger to tell him of the finding.

‘The President believes that the constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield information reflecting an effort to subvert the Constitution itself, and indeed believes that such an assertion in this circumstance would be at odds with the principles that underlie the privilege,’ Su wrote. 

Biden ‘has determined that he will not assert executive privilege with respect to your client’s deposition testimony on these subjects, or any documents your client may possess that bear on them,’ Su noted. ‘For the same reasons, underlying his decisions on executive privilege, President Biden has determined that he will not assert immunity to preclude your client from testifying before the Select Committee.’ 

Thompson noted that finding in his letter to Terwilliger, writing the ruling from Biden’s White House counsel on the matter ‘eviscerates any plausible claim of testimonial immunity or executive privilege, and compels compliance with the Select Committee’s subpoena.’

But Terwilliger suggested in a statement earlier Thursday – after receiving Su’s letter but before Thompson’s letter – that Meadows would not comply with the committee’s demands until the legal disputes were resolved.

‘Contrary to decades of consistent bipartisan opinions from the Justice Department that senior aides cannot be compelled by Congress to give testimony, this is the first president to make not effort whatsoever to protect presidential communications from being the subject of compelled testimony,’ he wrote.

‘Mr. Meadows remains under the instruction of former President Trump to respect longstanding principles of executive privilege. It now appears the courts will have to resolve this conflict,’ he noted.

Trump has ordered his former aides not to cooperate with the House committee’s probe. 

The committee has subpoenaed Meadows and at least 35 others in their investigation into what happened at the White House on January 6 and the efforts to overturn the election results.

The House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6th Attack on the Capitol issued its first subpoenas on September 21 – targeting Meadows, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, longtime Trump and White House aide Dan Scavino, and former Pentagon chief of staff Kash Patel.

Meadows featured prominently in Trump’s efforts to pressure state official in Georgia and other states where Trump pushed claims of election fraud as part of his election overturn effort.

‘While serving as White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows reportedly communicated with officials at the state level and in the Department of Justice as part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent the election’s certification,’ according to the committee release on the subpoena. 

The Meadows letter says it appears he was within the ‘vicinity’ of Trump on Jan. 6, and had communications with Trump and others ‘regarding the events at the Capitol’ and ‘are a witness concerning events that day.’ 

Trump aides called to testify to House over the Capitol Riot and bid to overturn the election: List of subpoenas and the committee’s reason behind them

Mark Meadows: While serving as White House Chief of Staff, Meadows reportedly communicated with officials at the state level and in the Department of Justice as part of an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election or prevent the election’s certification. 

Daniel Scavino: White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Scavino was with the former President on January 5th during a discussion of how to convince Members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden. Prior to the January 6th March for Trump, Mr. Scavino promoted the event on Twitter, encouraging people to ‘be a part of history.’ And records indicate that Mr. Scavino was tweeting messages from the White House on January 6, 2021

Kashyap Patel: Patel was serving as chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller. The former President had appointed Mr. Patel to this position on November 10, the day after then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was replaced.

Stephen Bannon: Bannon reportedly communicated with former President Trump on December 30th, 2020, urging him to focus his efforts on January 6th. Mr. Bannon also reportedly attended a gathering at the Willard Hotel on January 5th, 2021, as part of an effort to persuade Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day. He is also quoted as saying on January 5 that ‘all Hell is going to break lose tomorrow’.

Nicholas Luna: Luna, who served as the former President’s personal assistant, was reportedly in the Oval Office the morning of January 6th, 2021, when the former President was on a phone call to Vice President Pence pressuring him not to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election

Molly Michael: Michael served as Special Assistant to the President and Oval Office Operations Coordinator, was involved in sending information about alleged election fraud to various individuals at the direction of President Trump, according to information obtained by the Select Committee.

Benjamin Williamson: While serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Willliamson was reportedly contacted by a former White House official during the attack on the U.S. Capitol who urged him and Mr. Meadows, without success, to have the former President issue a statement addressing the attack and condemning the violence.

Christopher Liddell: Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff, was in the White House on January 6th and reportedly considered resigning on that day but stayed on ‘after a great deal of persuasion.’

John McEntee: The former White House Personnel Director, was reportedly present in the Oval Office when Rudolph Giuliani, Justin Clark, the former President, and former Vice President Pence discussed the audit process in Georgia and listened as Mr. Giuliani suggested seizing Dominion voting machines because of alleged fraud. Mr. McEntee was also reportedly involved in communications with officials in various federal agencies regarding loyalty to President Trump and specifically discouraged a number of individuals from seeking employment after the election as it would appear to be a concession of President Trump’s defeat. In addition, according to reports, Mr. McEntee was in the White House on January 6th and was with former President Trump when he traveled to the Ellipse and spoke at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally

Keith Kellogg: Vice President Pence’s National Security Advisor who reportedly participated in at least one January 2021 meeting with the former President and Pat Cipollone during which the former President insisted that former Vice President Pence not certify the election. He was reportedly in the White House with the former President as he watched the January 6th attack unfold and has direct information about the former President’s statements about and reaction to the insurrection. During that day, it is reported that Lt. Gen. Kellogg met with the former President and others before the rally at the Ellipse and then, after the rally, he urged the former President to send out a tweet to his supporters at the U.S. Capitol to help control the crowd.

Kayleigh McEnany: Former White House Press Secretary, who allegedly made multiple public statements from the White House and elsewhere about purported fraud in the November 2020 election. For example, in the first White House press conference after the election, Ms. McEnany claimed that there were ‘very real claims’ of fraud that the former President’s reelection campaign was pursuing, and said that mail-in voting was something that ‘we have identified as being particularly prone to fraud.’ At another press conference, Ms. McEnany accused Democrats of ‘welcoming fraud’ and ‘welcoming illegal voting.’ In addition, Ms. McEnany was reportedly present at times with the former President as he watched the January 6th attack

Stephen Miller: Senior Advisor to the former President who, by his own account participated in efforts to spread false information about alleged voter fraud in the November 2020 election, as well as efforts to encourage state legislatures to alter the outcome of the November 2020 election by appointing alternate slates of electors.

Cassidy Hutchinson: Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, who reportedly was at the White House on January 6th and was with the former President when he spoke at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally that day. She also reportedly reached out directly via email and phone to Georgia Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs relating to a trip to Georgia by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to attend an election audit.

Kenneth Klukowski: The former Senior Counsel to Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, was involved in drafting a letter that urged legislatures in certain states to delay certification of the election, according to the report recently released by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The report also states that Mr. Clark contacted Mr. Klukowski to prepare for an Oval Office meeting with the former President that took place on January 3rd, 2021.

William ‘Bill’ Stepien: He served as manager of the Trump 2020 reelection campaign. The campaign reportedly urged state and party officials to affect the outcome of the November 2020 election by asking states to delay or deny certification of electoral votes and by sending multiple slate of electoral votes to the United States Congress.

Jason Miller: According to the committee, the Senior Advisor to Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, spread the false claim that the November 2020 had been tainted by widespread fraud. Even before the election, Mr. Miller publicly claimed that Democrats would ‘steal’ the election, a message that individuals who attacked the U.S. Capitol echoed on January 6th. After the election, Mr. Miller coordinated with Mr. Trump and Rudolph Giuliani, and claimed in public press events that the election was rigged. Additionally, according to public reports, Mr. Miller participated in a meeting on January 5th, 2021 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., in which Mr. Giuliani, Stephen Bannon, and others discussed options for overturning the results of the November 2020 election by, among other things, pressuring Vice President Pence to not certify the electoral college results.

Angela McCallum: National executive assistant to Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, who reportedly participated in efforts to spread false information about alleged voter fraud in the November 2020 election and to encourage state legislatures to alter the outcome of the November 2020 election. Specifically, there is a publicly available recording of a voicemail that Ms. McCallum reportedly left for an unknown Michigan state representative. In the recording, Ms. McCallum wanted to know whether the Trump campaign could ‘count on’ the representative and said that the individual had the authority to appoint an alternate slate of electors based on purported evidence of widespread election fraud

John Eastman: Attorney who reportedly advised President Trump and others that Vice President Pence could reject electors from certain states in order to deny Joe Biden a majority of the Electoral College vote. In the days before January 6th, Mr. Eastman is reported to have participated in a briefing for nearly 300 state legislators regarding purported election fraud, during which he told the group that it was ‘the duty of the[] legislatures to fix this, this egregious conduct, and make sure that we’re not putting in the White House some guy that didn’t get elected.’ Mr. Eastman reportedly participated in the January 5th, 2021 meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. and he spok

Michael Flynn: Former national security advisor who reportedly attended a December 18th, 2020 meeting in the Oval Office during which participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers, and continuing to spread the false message that the November 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud. The day before, Flynn gave an interview on Newsmax TV during which he talked about seizing voting machines, foreign influence in the election, and the purported precedent for deploying military troops and declaring martial law to ‘rerun’ the election.

Bernard Kerik: Former NYPD Commissioner who reportedly participated in the January 5th, 2021 meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. Mr. Kerik reportedly paid for rooms and suites in Washington, D.C. hotels that served as election-related command centers, and also worked with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani to investigate allegations of voter fraud and promote baseless litigation and ‘Stop the Steal’ efforts

Jeffrey Clark: Former DOJ lawyer who was reportedly involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and interrupt the peaceful transfer of power. The subpoena seeks deposition testimony and records from Mr. Clark as part of the Select Committee’s investigation into the events of January 6th and the causes of that day’s violence

Ali Alexander: Submitted permits for ‘Stop the Steal’ rally

Nathan Martin: Submitted permits for ‘Stop the Steal’ rally

Stop the Steal, LLC

Amy Kremer: Founder and Chair of Women for America First.

Kylie Kremer: Founder and Executive Director of WFAF.

Cynthia Chafian: Submitted the first permit application on behalf of WFAF for the January 6th rally, and founder of the Eighty Percent Coalition.

Caroline Wren: Listed on permit paperwork for the January 6th rally as ‘VIP Advisor.’

Maggie Mulvaney: Wife of chief of staff Mick Mulvaney who was listed on permit paperwork for the January 6th rally as ‘VIP Lead.’

Justin Caporale, of Event Strategies, Inc., listed on permit paperwork for the January 6th rally as ‘Project Manager.’

Tim Unes, of Event Strategies, Inc., listed on permit paperwork for the January 6th rally as ‘Stage Manager.’

Megan Powers, of MPowers Consulting LLC, listed on permit paperwork for the January 6th rally as ‘Operations Manager for Scheduling and Guidance.’

Hannah Salem, of Salem Strategies LLC, listed on permit paperwork for the January 6th rally as ‘Operations Manager for Logistics and Communications.’

Lyndon Brentnall, of RMS Protective Services, listed on permit paperwork for the January 6th rally as ‘On-Site Supervisor.’

Katrina Pierson, former Trump campaign official, reportedly involved in the organization of the January 5th and 6th rallies and was in direct communication with the former President about the rallies.

(Source – January 6 Committee)

Mark Meadows, a former congressman, served as Trump’s chief of staff in the final days of the administration – above the two men are seen together in November 2019

It also cites documents already obtained from the Justice Department, and states that ‘while you were the President’s Chief of Staff, you directly communicated with the highest officials at the Department of Justice requesting investigations into election fraud matters in several states.’ 

Bannon also refused to comply with his subpoena and was held in contempt of Congress. 

The House voted 229 to 202, mostly along party lines, on October 27 to find Bannon in contempt, which sent the matter to the Justice Department. DoJ will decide whether or not to prosecute Bannon. 

Thompson has also threatened contempt against Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who helped orchestrate Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election results. 

Thompson’s letter to Meadows on Thursday comes hours after a blow to the committee’s investigation of what happened the day thousands of Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol to try and stop the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. 

A federal appeals court blocked the imminent release of Trump’s records – including his White House calls and activities related to the Jan. 6 attack – after a lower court found that Biden can waive his predecessor’s claim to executive privilege.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a temporary injunction while it considers Trump’s request to hold off any release pending appeal.

The case was fast-tracked for a hearing Nov. 30. 

Trump DEFENDS supporters who shouted ‘hang Mike Pence’ during Capitol riot, insists the chant was ‘just common sense’ and says he thought VP would be safe because he was ‘in good shape’ in newly released interview 

Donald Trump has defended supporters who threatened to ‘hang’ then-Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot on January 6 because they were angry about voter fraud allegations in a newly released audio clip of an interview.

During a taped interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, obtained by Axios, Trump can be heard playing down the chanted threats, saying ‘the people were very angry.’

In the clip, Karl initially asks whether Trump was worried about his Vice President.

‘No, I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape,’ Trump replies during the interview for Karl’s book ‘Betrayal’ at Mar-a-Lago, conducted on March 18. ‘No. Because I had heard he was in very good shape.’

‘Because you heard those chants — that was terrible,’ Karl replies. ‘He could have — well, the people were very angry,’ Trump says.

‘They were saying ‘hang Mike Pence,” Karl pushes.

‘Because it’s common sense, Jon. It’s common sense that you’re supposed to protect,’ Trump replies. ‘How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right?’ he says, touting the false claim that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.

‘How can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress? How can you do that?’

The chants were heard as Trump’s supporters laid siege to the Capitol building in Washington DC on January 6 following a rally held by the then-president outside the White House, forcing those inside the building – including Pence – to evacuate.

The new audio was released after a federal appeals court gave Trump lawyers until November 30 to argue that White House documents from January 6 should not be handed to the Democrat-led committee investigating the riot.

His former chief of staff Mark Meadows has also been threatened with contempt of court charges if he doesn’t respond to request to testify before the panel by 10am on Friday.

Pictured: Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi preside over a Joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol earlier in the day on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021 (file photo)

Pictured: A noose is seen having been put up by supporters of then-President Donald Trump outside the US Capitol building on January 6, as other stormed the building following a rally held by Trump calling for the 2020 election results to be overturned. It has been revealed that Trump defended calls to ‘hang’ his Vice President Mike Pence by his supporters at the riots

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