Bannon Referral Arrives at US Attorney’s Office

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to hold Longtime Donald Trump ally and advisor Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. 

Bannon could now face criminal prosecution for refusing to cooperate with a House committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol. The committee has subpoenaed Bannon for both testimony and documents about the deadly riot, which he has refused to cooperate with. Bannon was the chief strategist for Trump. 

The House voted 229 to 202, with all Democrats and nine Republicans voting to recommend the charges. No Republican votes were needed to pass and to refer the criminal contempt charge to the Justice Department, but nine Republicans still voted in favor of it, against party lines and against the wishes of Trump. 

The contempt charge now lands on the desk of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who will make the final decision on whether to prosecute him. 

The House’s vote marked a critical moment in the investigation into the Capitol insurrection. The committee hopes that the threat of jail time will encourage Trump’s allies to cooperate. So far, this has not worked. 

Members of the committee believe that Bannon has significant knowledge of the planning around the attacks. His lack of cooperation does not prove otherwise. 

It’s unclear whether using the Justice Department is a warning sign or if Bannon will ultimately face jail time. Anyone found liable for contempt of Congress and then is also found guilty of a crime can be forced to pay fines, and sentenced to between one month and one year in jail. But the process of holding someone in criminal contempt through prosecution could take years.

Previous cases such as this were eventually derailed by appeals processes and acquittals. The process is very rarely invoked, and rarely does it lead to jail time.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.