It took the jury less than three hours on Friday to find Steve Bannon guilty of “contempt of Congress” – and that included the lunch break. So obviously unlawful was the refusal of ex-President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist to comply with the subpoena of the investigative committee into the attack on the Capitol and to provide documents.
Both are sentenced to between 30 days and one year in prison, and the sentence is due to be announced on October 21.
On the one hand, the ruling by the federal court in Washington DC is a win for the House Committee, which wants to get more Witnesses to cooperate. Chairman Benni Thompson and his deputy Liz Cheney also immediately called the guilty verdict a “victory for the rule of law”. Nobody is above the law.
On the other hand, apart from Bannon, only Trump’s ex-trade adviser Peter Navarro has been accused of his refusal. Many from the Trump cosmos who could provide enlightening information about the events of January 6 evade questioning.
The conviction will hardly stop the co-founder of the right-wing Internet platform “Breitbart”. In the evening, the 68-year-old appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News talk show and threatened the staff of the investigative committee, which he described as a political “show trial”.
“I say to the January 6 people now: keep your documents, because there will be a real committee.” And he will have the backing of Republican voters.
Only on Thursday evening did the committee show how Trump had his supporters riot for hours on January 6, 2021 in the Capitol. As requested by him, they wanted to prevent Congress from confirming Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election. The panel accuses the ex-president and his people of having planned the attack.
Among other things, a meeting on January 5 in the Willard Hotel near the White House plays a role here, at which it was discussed how the election result could be overturned. Bannon also attended the meeting.
Trump had already fired him in 2017, but he continued to exert great influence on the president. On Jan. 6, the two spoke to each other on the phone at least twice, the committee has revealed.
Bannon promised listeners to his War Room podcast the day before the attack: “This is your moment in history. All hell will break loose tomorrow.”
An audio recording played to the committee of inquiry on October 31, 2020, a few days before the election, also heard him declare that Trump would declare himself the winner even if he lost. Suffice it to say “he’s the winner”.
The committee would like to discuss all of this with Bannon and other witnesses. Even if the hardliner has hardly become more open to making a statement, the enlighteners hope that others will now think twice about whether Trump is really worth going to jail.