Bannon indicted on contempt charges for defying 1/6 subpoena

WASHINGTON — Steve Bannon, a longtime ally to former President Donald Trump, was indicted Friday on two counts of contempt of Congress after he defied a congressional subpoena from the House committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The Justice Department said Bannon, 67, was indicted on one count for refusing to appear for a deposition and the other for refusing to provide documents in response to the committee’s subpoena. It wasn’t immediately clear when he would be due in court.

The indictment comes as a second witness, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, defied a similar subpoena from the committee on Friday. The chairman of the panel, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, said he will be recommending contempt charges against Meadows next week.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Bannon’s indictment reflects the Justice Department’s “steadfast commitment” to ensuring that the department adheres to the rule of law. Each count carries a minimum of 30 days of jail and a sentence of up to a year behind bars.

Bannon’s attorney did not immediately respond to a message-seeking comment.

This is not the first time Bannon has faced legal peril. In August of last year, he was pulled from a luxury yacht and arrested on allegations that he and three associates ripped off donors trying to fund a southern border wall. Trump later pardoned Bannon in the final hours of his presidency.

Meadows had been in discussions with the committee since his subpoena was issued in September, but his lawyer said Friday that Meadows has a “sharp legal dispute” with the panel as Trump has claimed executive privilege over the testimony.

Thompson had threatened contempt charges against Meadows in a letter to the lawyer, George Terwilliger, on Thursday, saying that if he failed to appear to answer the committee’s questions Friday it would be considered “willful non-compliance.” The committee would first have to vote on the contempt recommendation, then the full House would vote to send it to the Justice Department.