A federal jury convicted Donald Trump’s former senior advisor Steve Bannon of two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the January 6th House Select Committee. He was served with the subpoena on September 23rd last year ordering him to provide requested documents to the committee by October 7th and appear in person by October 14th. Bannon’s refusal to cooperate led to his indictment in November on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, a month after the Justice Department received the House panel’s referral.
Bannon’s lawyers chose not to present their own case, offering no defense witnesses. The defense had motioned for an acquittal on Thursday, saying the prosecution had not proved its case. In making his motion for acquittal before U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, Bannon’s attorney Evan Corcoran said that “no reasonable juror could conclude that Mr. Bannon refused to comply.” Corcoran also said in his closing argument Friday that there was “plenty of reasonable doubt” concerning his client’s guilt. But it only took the jury three hours to return its verdict after the four days of evidence presented by the prosecution.
Prosecutors focused on the series of letters exchanged between the January 6th Committee and the obstruction from Bannon and his lawyers. The correspondence shows Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MD) immediately dismissing Bannon’s claim that he was exempted by Trump’s claim of executive privilege and explicitly threatening Bannon with criminal prosecution.
— Tara Dublin (@taradublinrocks) July 22, 2022
Bannon will be sentenced in October and faces a minimum sentence of 30 days and a maximum of two years in jail.