Steve Bannon, an ally of former President Donald Trump, was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress for flouting a subpoena issued by the Democrat-led House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Bannon, 67, refused to testify after Trump claimed that executive privilege applied to White House records, sparking a court fight. Bannon was not a government employee at the time of the riot.
The Justice Department said in a statement that Bannon “is charged with one contempt count involving his refusal to appear for a deposition and another involving his refusal to produce documents, despite a subpoena from the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol,”
Committee members have asserted that Bannon is a critical witness, stating in a contempt resolution last month that he “appears to have played a multi-faceted role in the events of January 6th, and the American people are entitled to hear his first-hand testimony regarding his actions.”
The report cites Bannon’s communication with Trump in the days leading up to the attack and “his efforts to plan political and other activity in advance of January 6th,” pointing to his participation in a ‘‘war room’’ organized at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5.