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Steve Bannon Indicted For Contempt Of Congress After Refusing To Comply With Subpoena

Updated Nov 12, 2021, 05:25pm EST


Steve Bannon was indicted on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress on Friday, after he failed to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Key Facts

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Bannon, 67, on one count over his failure to appear for a deposition before Congress, and one count involving his failure to hand over documents to the committee, according to the Department of Justice.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the charges reflect the DOJ’s commitment to “show the American people by word and deed” that the department adheres to the rule of law and pursues justice under the law.

The Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed Bannon — a former advisor to former President Donald Trump — in September, as part of its investigation into the riot.

Bannon claimed he can’t testify before Congress due to executive privilege — despite not being a member of the Trump Administration on Jan. 6.

The House of Representatives voted to hold Bannon in contempt last month after he failed to comply with the subpoena, referring the case to the DOJ for possible criminal charges.

An attorney for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

Key Background

The Jan. 6 committee accused Bannon of playing a role in the runup to the Capitol riot by backing Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud and meeting with other Trump allies in the week leading up to the attack. The committee has issued over two dozen subpoenas to top Trump advisors and aides in recent weeks, including campaign manager Bill Stepien and senior advisor Jason Miller. Trump has directed his former aides and advisors to refrain from complying with the subpoenas, arguing the information and documents are protected by executive privilege. Trump is attempting to use this legal doctrine, which allows presidents to keep some internal communications secret, in his legal battle to block the National Archives from releasing a trove of documents related to the riot to the January 6 committee. A federal appeals court temporarily halted the release of those records Thursday, but another hearing is scheduled for the end of the month to make a full decision.


Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ignored his subpoena from the committee, failing to show up for his deposition Friday, which could lead to the Jan. 6 committee voting to recommend charges for him.

What To Watch For

If Bannon is convicted, each count carries up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000, according to the DOJ.

Further Reading

House Holds Bannon In Contempt For Refusing Jan. 6 Subpoena — Criminal Charges Could Follow (Forbes)

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