WASHINGTON - Steve Bannon, a former political strategist for President Donald Trump, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena regarding the investigation into the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.
The indictment follows a bipartisan vote on the House floor last month to refer Bannon for contempt and was sent to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.
The Justice Department said Bannon, 67, was indicted on one count for refusing to appear for a deposition and the other for refusing to provide documents in response to the committee’s subpoena. It wasn’t immediately clear when he would be due in court.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said the indictment reflects the Justice Department’s "steadfast commitment" to ensuring that the department adheres to the rule of law.
Each count carries a minimum of 30 days of jail and a sentence of up to a year behind bars.
Bannon’s attorney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The showdown with Bannon is just one facet of a broad and escalating congressional inquiry, with dozens of subpoenas issued so far and thousands of pages of documents flowing to the committee and its staff. Challenging Bannon’s defiance is a crucial step for the panel, whose members are vowing to restore the force of congressional subpoenas after they were routinely flouted during Trump’s time in office.
The committee has already interviewed more than 150 people across government, social media and law enforcement, including some former Trump aides who have been cooperative. The panel has subpoenaed more than 20 witnesses total, and most of them, including several associates who helped plan the massive "Stop the Steal" rally the morning of the 6th, have signaled they will cooperate.
This story is developing. Check back for more. The Associated Press and Chris Williams contributed.