Disavowed by Donald Trump, barred from Twitter, and now, indicted on contempt charges for refusing to testify before Congress on the January 6 insurrection attempt at the US Capitol: Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon on Monday surrendered to the FBI.
He faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. But he remains defiant, telling supporters as he entered the FBI’s Washington DC Field office, “We’re taking down the Biden regime every day”.
The 67-year-old was indicted on Friday on two counts of criminal contempt – one for refusing to appear for a congressional deposition and the other for refusing to provide documents in response to the committee’s subpoena.
Bannon was among several former Trump aides to face a subpoena from Congress following the events of January 6, when hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building in a bid to prevent a vote confirming President Joe Biden’s victory—an act that has been dubbed an insurrection attempt.
The US House committee investigating the attempted insurrection issued subpoenas to Bill Stepien, manager of Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign; Jason Miller, a senior advisor to the campaign; Angela McCallum, national executive assistant to the campaign; John Eastman, a lawyer who advised the former president; Michael Flynn, a former national security advisor to Trump who talked with the former president ahead of the insurrection; and Bernard Kerik, who the committee says paid for hotel rooms that served as command centres ahead of Jan. 6.
“In the days before the January 6th attack, the former president’s closest allies and advisors drove a campaign of misinformation about the election and planned ways to stop the count of Electoral College votes,” committee chairman Bennie Thompson said on November 8. “The Select Committee needs to know every detail about their efforts to overturn the election, including who they were talking to in the White House and in Congress, what connections they had with rallies that escalated into a riot, and who paid for it all.”
Another former Trump adviser, Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, also sparked controversy after calling for “one religion” in the US, saying on Sunday, “If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God and one religion under God.”
With inputs from PTI