Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Contempt of Congress.
The War Room host has refused to cooperate with a subpoena from the House Committee investigating the Capitol protest on January 6.
This indictment is the first of its kind, as no one has ever been prosecuted for contempt of Congress after executive privilege has been asserted.
On Friday, Bannon was charged with two counts of contempt, one for refusing to appear for a deposition and the second for declining to produce requested documents.
“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 B. Garland in a statement posted to the Department of Justice website. “Today’s charges reflect the department’s steadfast commitment to these principles.”
“As detailed in the indictment, on Sept. 23, 2021, the Select Committee issued a subpoena to Mr. Bannon,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia in the statement included in the DOJ press release. “The subpoena required him to appear and produce documents to the Select Committee, and to appear for a deposition before the Select Committee. According to the indictment, Mr. Bannon refused to appear to give testimony as required by subpoena and refused to produce documents in compliance with a subpoena.”
In response to the news, Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted, “Steve Bannon did nothing wrong.”
Steve Bannon did nothing wrong.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 12, 2021
Donald Trump Jr. quoted a tweet from David Corn, the DC bureau chief of Mother Jones and MSNBC analyst, in which he said “elections can have consequences.”
“Saying the quiet part out loud. They’re openly admitting that they prosecute their political enemies when in office,” Trump Jr. wrote.
Saying the quiet part out loud. They’re openly admitting that they prosecute their political enemies when in office. https://t.co/PAaJfUlvJt
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 12, 2021
If convicted, each count of contempt of Congress carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a fine of $100 to $1,000.
“A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors,” the DOJ’s press release added.