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Steve Bannon is facing a charge of contempt of Congress

Steve Bannon

After refusing to evidence the US Capitol riot, former Trump advisor Steve Bannon was charged with contempt of Congress.

He was called to speak about what he knew about the protest plans that concluded in the storming of Congress. The House of Agents voted last month to submit the issue to the Justice Department, which decided on Friday to charge Mr. Bannon, 67. Steve Bannon could face a year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000 (£74,500).

On 6 January, Trump supporters stormed the US Congress building as members met to confirm the election results. Mr. Trump, a Republican, has refused to admit defeat in last year’s election to Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, saying – without evidence – that there was illegal voting.

This was the first such indictment from the House of Representatives Select Committee’s investigation into the 6 January Capitol complex invasion.

Mr. Bannon is facing two counts of contempt, one for refusing to appear for a deposition and the other for refusing to deliver papers for the committee. The former White House political advisor, discharged in 2017 but remained loyal to former President Donald Trump, is scheduled to surrender to authorities on Monday and appear in court.

According to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, the indictment reflects the Justice Department’s “steadfast dedication” to the rule of law. Mr. Bannon, who currently hosts the right-wing War Room podcast, is reported in subpoena documents as predicting on the eve of the incident that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

Lawyers for the 67-year-old claimed that his interactions with the former president were protected. Mr. Trump has advised his former aides to turn down all requests to testify in court. He contended that executive privilege, a legal principle that protects many White House conversations, gives them the power to withhold material.

In addition, the former president is attempting to prevent congressional investigators from obtaining a trove of phone records, visitor logs, and other White House documents related to the Capitol riot investigation.

In the last week, the House Select Committee has issued scores of subpoenas, requiring many former Trump administration officials to hand over papers and testify on the incident. Stephen Miller, Kayleigh McEnany, the previous White House press secretary, Mr. Trump’s senior adviser, and Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, are named.

Source: BBC News

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