Steve Bannon, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, was indicted this Friday by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress, one for failing to appear and the other for refusing to answer questions from the House committee investigating the assault on the Capitol on January 6. Last month, the Republican president’s former strategist refused to comply with the subpoenas issued and did not appear before that committee.
The imputation is a milestone. Never before has anyone been held in contempt of Congress by invoking executive privilege, which protects the president’s communications with his team. Although in previous cases the testimony of defendants about their service in the Government was demanded, but Bannon left his job in the White House in 2017, well before the period that the House committee is investigating. At this time, a date has not yet been set for a hearing on this case in federal court for the District of Columbia. The influential adviser should surrender to justice next Monday, but it is not clear what will happen if he does not, although the judge in the case has not been against issuing an arrest warrant.
The drastic measure taken by the Justice Department exposes the radical Bannon to fines (between $ 100 and $ 1,000) and up to a year in prison for each count. The decision comes after weeks of deliberation by attorneys from the United States Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia, who will oversee the criminal case. “From my first day in office, I have promised the employees of the Department of Justice that together we would demonstrate to the American people, by word and deed, that the Office of the Attorney General adheres to the rule of law, follows the facts and the law, and seeks equality under the law, “Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “Today’s positions reflect the department’s strong commitment to these principles.”
On October 21, the House of Representatives held 67-year-old Bannon in contempt for refusing to appear before the investigative committee on the attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters. Congressional contempt then went to the Justice Department, where the attorney general has made the final decision to prosecute and present Bannon’s case to a grand jury on possible criminal charges.
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