A US federal grand jury has indicted former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon on two charges of contempt of Congress. The indictment stemmed from Bannon’s failure to comply with a House Select Committee subpoena regarding the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Bannon is charged under Title 2 Chapter 6 Section 192 of the U.S. Code, under Congressional and committee procedures, for failing to appear for a deposition and refusing to provide the necessary documents subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee. The Committee was formed on the 30th of June 2021 after the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 503 as a means to investigate the attack on the Capitol.
Both counts will carry between a month to a year jail sentence and will also include a fine from $100 to $1000. The Guardian reports that this is the first charge for criminal contempt of Congress in nearly four decades.
Critics of the Trump administration have previously lamented that the U.S. Justice Department has been slow and overly cautious in regards to reprimands to the Trump administration. Attorney-General Merrick Garland has reiterated that this indictment reflects the justice department’s commitment that all indictments will adhere to the rule of law, regardless of political affiliation.
Chairman Thompson and Vice-Chair Cheney have released a statement on the indictment, stating that:
Steve Bannon’s indictment should send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can ignore the Select Committee or try to stonewall our investigation: no one is above the law. We will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to get the information we need.