Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon Surrenders to Face Contempt Charges

The world turned upside down last year when Democratic President Joe Biden won the elections, beating Donald Trump’s attempt for a second run. The former president did not take the defeat lightly, refusing to acknowledge the loss and making massive claims of massive fraud despite his lack of evidence. Chaos followed as Trump supporters stormed the Congress building. Several figures were pegged for knowledge of plans, including Steve Bannon.

A one-time top adviser for the former President, Bannon is accused of defying summons to testify his knowledge of plans for the protest on January 6, 2021. According to subpoena documents, Bannon announced on the eve of the riot on his right-wing War Room podcast that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

If convicted, he faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Bannon was indicted last Friday on one count of refusing to appear for a deposition and one count of refusing to provide subpoenaed documents to a committee investigating the riot. 

On Monday morning, Steve Bannon arrived at the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “This is going to be the misdemeanor from hell,” he said outside the office. Bannon appeared in the U.S. District Court in the afternoon and stated that he believed the charges were politically driven, vowing to fight against them. “We’re tired of playing defense,” said Bannon. “We’re going to go on the offense on this.”

Bannon also live-streamed his arrival for his first court appearance. “I want you guys to stay focused, stay on the message,” he urged his followers. “Remember: signal, not noise. This is all noise, that’s signal.”

The former White House chief strategist was released on his own recognizance under some court restriction. Bannon will be required to check in weekly, remain at his listed address, and will have to notify the court if he is to travel domestically in the Washington, D.C., area. He was also prohibited from traveling internationally under the condition of the court’s approval, having surrendered his passport. Bannon is scheduled to return to court for a virtual hearing on Thursday.

Outside the courthouse, Bannon spoke to reporters, vowing to fight the charges. “What we’re doing is taking on this illegitimate Biden regime,” he told reporters. Bannon also urged support not to “ever let this noise up here take you off message.”

A private citizen on January 6 and during the run-up to the attack on the capitol, Bannon said Trump directed him not to produce documents or give testimony that might reveal any information that the former president’s lawyers are trying to legally protect. The indictment alleged that Bannon has “not communicated with the Select Committee in any way since accepting service of the subpoena on September 24, 2021.”

Steve Bannon was represented by Alabama- based attorney David Schoen, a member of Trump’s legal team during his second impeachment trial earlier this year. Trump himself was impeached by the House on a single charge of insurrection for his role in the January 6 assault on the capitol and acquitted by the senate.