He refuses to cooperate with the investigation. Steve Bannon, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, has been indicted “Contempt of Congress” for his refusal to participate in the investigations into the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6, the US Department of Justice announced Friday, November 12.
The 67-year-old former adviser, who was one of the architects of Mr. Trump’s successful presidential campaign in 2016 before falling from grace, is being sued for refusing to testify and to provide documents to the special parliamentary committee investigating the attack on the seat of Congress.
Despite his summons in mid-October, Steve Bannon did not appear before elected officials invoking the right of presidents to keep certain documents and discussions confidential. But according to the commission, this protection does not apply because Trump is no longer president and has never officially asserted this privilege of the executive.
From thirty days to a year in prison
Steve Bannon was one of the architects of the Republican candidate’s successful presidential campaign in 2016 before falling from grace. He did not hold any official function on January 6 but appears to have discussed the protest with the president in the previous days, according to the commission of inquiry.
He faces between thirty days and one year in prison for each count and will be tried in federal court. But the legal battle could take months or years, potentially undermining the investigation.
Another close to Mr. Trump, his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, also snubbed a summons to appear before the Democratic-majority commission of inquiry on Friday. He invoked a court decision announced Thursday, which temporarily suspends, until November 30, the transmission of internal documents from the White House to the commission.
The former president had invoked the executive’s right to keep certain information secret. The commission of inquiry replied in a statement that U.S. President Joe Biden had already authorized the release of the documents and that Mr. Meadows was therefore required to testify, warning the former chief of staff about the fact that he too could be charged with contempt of Congress.