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Jury finds Bannon guilty on both contempt of Congress charges

Bannon is a former Trump White House adviser

Published: July 22, 2022 2:21pm

Updated: July 22, 2022 3:46pm

A jury in a federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday found former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon guilty  on both counts in his contempt of Congress trial.

The 12-member jury found him guilty on both counts of contempt for failing to comply with two subpoenas issued by the Democrat-led House committee investigation the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

"I stand with Trump and the Constitution, and I will never back down," Bannon told reporters afterward, outside of the courthouse. "I only have one disappointment: The Jan. 6 committee members didn't have the guts to come down here and testify." 

The jury deliberated for a roughly two hours before returning its verdict. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols set a sentencing date of Oct. 21.

Each count carries a minimum of 30 days of jail and as long as a year behind bars, according to the Associated Press.

Bannon and one of his attorneys, David Schoen, indicated that they planned to appeal the verdicts.

One subpoenas was for Bannon to provide a deposition and another to turn over documents related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Defense lawyers argued from the start of the case on Tuesday that Bannon was negotiating with the committee about complying with the subpoenas when he was forced into court.

Their argument essentially focused on the dates of the subpoenas and whether they had been finalized. The lawyers did not call any witnesses when presenting their case.

However, in closing arguments, they argued Bannon has been denied his constitutional rights in the trial by not being allowed to call to the witness stand House Democrats connected to the committee, including Chairmen Bennie Thompson. 

Justice Department lawyers successfully argued Bannon knew about the deadlines to comply with the subpoenas and willingly ignore them.

They also called two witnesses, an attorney for the committee and an FBI agent, to answer questions about the case to prove their argument.

Bannon was indicted in November on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, a month after the department received the House committee's referral.

In a departure from House norms, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year rejected two of the five House Republican picks for the panel, prompting House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to pull all five of his party's choices from the committee. Pelosi then handpicked two anti-Trump Republicans to join the seven Democrats on the committee.

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