Who is Steve Bannon?
Steve Bannon, a former top Trump advisor, has previously refused to testify to the January 6th Committee, despite self-proclaimed involvement in the planning of January 6th.
Bannon is facing up to two years of jail time and a $200,000 fine for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
One week before his trial, Bannon said he would testify, but a judge ordered the trial to proceed. Bannon was convicted for being in contempt of Congress on July 22, 2022.
Steve Bannon served as Chief Strategist to President Donald Trump for the first eight months of the Trump Administration.
The January 6th Committee subpoenaed Bannon because he is believed to have insider knowledge about the events leading up to January 6th. For months, Bannon refused to comply with the subpoena and was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress.
One week before his trial, Bannon said he was willing to testify after Trump waived executive privilege, which his legal team cited as his reason for defying Congress’ subpoena. A judge ordered for the trial to proceed despite Bannon's change of heart.
Bannon, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of contempt of Congress, was convicted in July 2022. He faces a maximum sentence of one month to two years in jail and a fine of up to $100,000. His sentencing has been set for October 21, 2022.
Bannon is the first person convicted at a trial of contempt of Congress since G. Gordon Liddy in 1974, who was found guilty for his role in the Watergate scandal.
Bannon’s Connection to President Trump
Steve Bannon served as Chief Strategist to the former president in the early months of the Trump administration. Before that, Bannon ran Trump’s 2016 campaign and was a Breitbart executive.
After just eight months working for Trump, Bannon rejoined Breitbart.
In August 2020, Bannon and three others were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering in connection to the We Build the Wall campaign. The defendants allegedly enriched themselves, despite promising that all contributions would go to building a wall.
Bannon pleaded not guilty and was pardoned by Trump before his trial date.
Bannon’s Connection to January 6th
Even though Bannon no longer worked as a White House advisor in 2020, he communicated with Trump frequently in the weeks leading up to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.
“‘We are going to kill it in the crib. Kill the Biden presidency in the crib,” Bannon told Trump in late December 2020.
According to reports, Trump and Bannon spoke on the phone on January 5th – the day before the attack on the Capitol.
Bannon said as much on his own podcast, explaining how he worked with the president to cast doubt on election results and impede the peaceful transfer of power.
"You've got to return to Washington and make a dramatic return today," Bannon said to Trump. "You've got to call [Vice President Mike] Pence off the f**king ski slopes and get him back here today. This is a crisis."
"People are going to go, 'What the f**k is going on here?'" Bannon said of the looming election. "We're going to bury Biden on January 6th, f**king bury him."