A US prosecutor testified Tuesday as arguments in former Trump aide Steve Bannon’s federal trial for contempt of Congress got underway that Bannon thought he was “above the law” when he refused to appear before lawmakers looking into the 2021 Capitol assault. Bannon is accused of ignoring a subpoena to testify.
A House of Representatives committee called Bannon, who oversaw Donald Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign, to speak concerning the January 6, 2021, storming of Congress by Trump supporters.
If found guilty in what is anticipated to be a quick trial, Bannon, who worked as Trump’s strategist at the White House before being fired in 2017, could spend 30 days to a year in jail for each of the two counts.
The date was “the subject of ongoing conversations and negotiation” and “flexible,” according to Bannon’s attorney Evan Corcoran, who denied that his client had disregarded the subpoena and pointed out that this was standard process for the House committee.
The day before tens of thousands of supporters of the former president stormed the Capitol to prevent the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory, the panel claimed that Bannon spoke to Trump.
Bannon ultimately consented to assist with the House probe this month after months of refusing to testify, a decision that prosecutors earlier claimed was a “last-ditch effort to dodge accountability.”
The 68-year-old was charged with two counts of contempt after failing to appear on the summons date or deliver the needed paperwork regarding the attack and the circumstances leading up to it.