Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon heard on Friday charges of evading testimony to the House of Representatives’ inquiry committee over the storming of the Capitol. The politician is threatening up to a year in prison. The charges against former adviser Donald Trump were requested in October by Congress.
As reported in a statement by the Ministry of Justice, Steve Bannon was charged with two charges: one for refusing to testify before the committee and the other for refusing to submit the required documents. An arrest warrant will be issued for the politician. If convicted by a court, he may be in prison from a month to a year.
– From our first day in office, I promised the employees of the Justice Department that together we would show Americans in word and deed that we abide by the rule of law. Today’s charges reflect our commitment to these principles, said the head of the department, Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The charges against former adviser Donald Trump were asked by Congress in October after Bannon ignored a court summons to appear before a commission investigating the circumstances of the attack on the Capitol on January 6.
A former associate of the president, who served as “White House chief strategist” at the beginning of Trump’s term – but was fired after a few months – said he could not testify because Trump asked him to do so. He referred to the so-called the privilege of the executive, a legal custom allowing presidents to protect the content of internal talks. Most experts, however, believe that it only applies to incumbent presidents.
Congress wants the arrest of White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows
Steve Bannon is considered one of the key figures involved in the protests that resulted in the storming of the Capitol. The day before the riots, he announced during his podcast that on January 6 “all hell would collapse” and suggested that there would be a “revolution”. On January 5, Bannon also met with Republican congressmen at the Willard Hotel in Washington.
Bannon’s detention may be relevant in the context of the further work of the commission of inquiry. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows followed in Friday’s footsteps, and he also failed to appear before the committee, on grounds similar to Bannon’s. Other former advisers to the former president, Stephen Miller and General Mike Flynn, also announced their refusal to cooperate with the commission.
– That’s great news. I think this sends an important signal to the rest of the witnesses that you can’t just ignore Congress. You may not like it, you may think you didn’t do anything wrong then, but you can’t just refuse to cooperate, one of the members of the commission of inquiry, Republican Adam Kinzinger, told CNN. The politician suggested that Meadows should also hear similar allegations. He added that so far over 150 people have testified before the commission.
Main photo source: Reuters