U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols denied Steve Bannon's motion on Wednesday to dismiss a criminal indictment related to his failure to appear before the House Jan. 6 committee, ABC's WUSA 9 reported.
Bannon, former President Donald Trump's chief adviser for several months in 2017, was subpoenaed on Sept. 23 by the panel along with several other Trump White House alumni, including his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows; a former deputy chief of staff, Dan Scavino; and former Defense Department official Kash Patel, according to Reuters.
In a letter to Bannon detailing the subpoena, Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the Jan. 6 committee "has reason to believe you [Bannon] have information relevant to understanding important activities that led to and informed the events at the Capitol."
Thompson cited claims Bannon was present at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5, 2021, in a supposed effort to convince Republican members of Congress to block certification of the 2020 election. An alleged statement of Bannon the same day saying, "All hell is going to break loose tomorrow," is also mentioned by Thompson.
After failing to respond to the subpoena, the Justice Department indicted Bannon with two counts of contempt of Congress. A DOJ press release later revealed that the penalties for charges include up to a year in jail and $100,000 in fines.
Bannon waged an ensuing legal battle, including his recent attempt to throw out the charges. Last week, the former Breitbart News executive also issued counter-subpoenas on top Democrats like Thompson, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, CNN reported.
However, Bannon's primary attempt to dismiss his DOJ indictment hit a roadblock this week when Judge Nichols ruled that after several arguments from Bannon's legal counsel, "each falls short," according to WUSA.
"Nothing in these letters unambiguously instructed Mr. Bannon not to turn over any documents or to appear at all," Nichols said. "The bottom line is the motion to dismiss the indictment is denied."
Although the trial was initially scheduled for July 18, Bannon attorney David Schoen said they might file a motion to move the date forward.
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