A federal jury has just found Steve Bannon guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the Democrats’ anti-Trump Jan. 6 House Select Committee.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols has set Bannon’s sentencing hearing for October 21.
According to media reports, Bannon smiled as the jury read the verdict.
He did not put on much of a defense, however.
Bannon faces a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail, according to federal law, and could get one year in prison for each count.
His lawyers offered no defense witnesses.
Evan Corcoran, one of Bannon’s lawyers said, “We didn’t feel the need to put on a defense.”
David Schoen, another member of Bannon’s defense team, told the court:
“He’s wanted to testify publicly in this case under oath to tell the court, the jury, and the public exactly what the true facts of the case are.
“However, on the advice of counsel, he has decided not to testify because he understands that he would be barred from telling the true facts explaining why he did what he did, and why he did not do what he did not do in relation to the committee’s subpoena.
“He wanted to testify under oath to explain that at all times, he believed he was doing what the law required him to do, based on his lawyer’s advice.”
“This case is not complicated but it is important,” Molly Gaston, an assistant U.S. Attorney, said in her closing argument Friday.
“When it came down to it, he did not want to recognize Congress’s authority or play by the government’s rules.”
BREAKING: Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, has been convicted of contempt of Congress after defying subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee. He faces up to two years in prison when he’s sentenced. https://t.co/wP0oHT2Yy4
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 22, 2022
According to Axios:
The two misdemeanor counts each carry a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a fine of $100 to $100,000.
Bannon is the first close Trump aide to be convicted as a result of the committee’s probe.
The Department of Justice in closing arguments of the trial said that Bannon “chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance to the law,” CNN reports.
Bannon’s lawyers had argued that the committee’s deadlines were flexible and claimed the subpoena and prosecution’s case were politically motivated.
The jury deliberated for less than three hours before reaching a unanimous verdict.