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Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon charged with contempt of Congress

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Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon has been charged with contempt of Congress after refusing to testify about the US Capitol riot on 6 January.

 

The right-wing media executive had been summoned to testify about what he knew about plans for the riot.

His lawyers argued that his communications involving the former president are protected.

Mr Bannon could now face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 (£74,522) fine.

A lawyer for Bannon told the House select committee in October that he would not comply with its subpoena because former President Donald Trump had instructed him not to produce any documents or testimony “concerning privileged material.”

Bannon was a senior White House advisor during the first seven months of Trump’s tenure. He was fired by Trump years before the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which is the subject of the select committee’s investigation.

Select committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., rejected the reference to executive privilege, the doctrine that allows some executive branch officials to keep some communications confidential, as an argument for noncompliance with a congressional subpoena.

The select committee shortly thereafter sent a contempt resolution to the full House of Representatives, which voted 229-209 to hold Bannon in contempt.

Each count of contempt of Congress is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000.

A date has not yet been set for Bannon to be arraigned in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the DOJ’s press release.

“Today’s charges reflect the Department’s steadfast commitment to these principles,” Garland said.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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