Justice Department said Friday that it has indicted Stephen Bannon on two counts of contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena issued by the House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack.
Bannon has refused to comply with subpoenas seeking documents and his testimony, citing Trump's insistence - already rejected by one judge - that his communications are protected by the legal doctrine of executive privilege.
Bannon, 67, was charged with one count of contempt of Congress involving his refusal to appear for a deposition and another involving his refusal to produce documents, the Justice Department said.
“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, whose comments came in a news release on the indictment. “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. “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 its subpoena, the news release said, the House committee probing Jan. 6 said it had reason to believe that Bannon had information relevant to understanding events of that day.
Bannon was a chief strategist and counselor to Trump, but left the White House in 2017.
Bannon is not the only Trump associate to choose not to comply with the 1/6 panel's wishes. On Friday, former chief of staff Mark Meadows did not appear for a deposition, risking a contempt charge. In a statement on Friday, panel chairman Bennie Thompason and Vice Chair Liz Cheney suggested Meadows, like Bannon, could force the committee to pursue contempt charges.
And Trump himself is pressing his case for executive privilege concerning a number of documents and records sought by the House committee.
The committee has drawn skepticism from the Republican side of the aisle, with only two GOP lawmakers represented, as chosen by the Dem-majority House leadership.
Newsmax contributed to this story.
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