Former Trump aide Steve Bannon surrenders to FBI over contempt of Congress

15 November 2021, 15:18 | Updated: 15 November 2021, 15:59

Bannon handed himself over to the FBI
Bannon handed himself over to the FBI. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon has surrendered to the FBI after being indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress.

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It comes after the 67-year-old refused to appear for a congressional deposition and refused to provide documents in response to the committee's subpoena as part of an inquiry into the US Capitol riot from the beginning of the year.

The riot, which took place on January 6 2021, saw thousands of Trump supporters storm the iconic building, interrupting an electoral vote count.

Mr Bannon was taken into custody on Monday morning and is expected to appear in court later in the afternoon.

As he entered the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Mr Bannon turned to a camera live-streaming on social media, urging people to "stay focused".

He added: "We're taking down the Biden regime."

Read more: Former Trump aide indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress

The indictment against the former White House chief strategist comes after a slew of Trump administration officials defied requests and demands from Congress over the past five years with little consequence, including during an impeachment inquiry.

It said Bannon did not communicate with the committee in any way from the time he received the subpoena on September 24 until October 7 when his lawyer sent a letter, seven hours after the documents were due.

Contempt of Congress is punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000, according to the Justice Department.

Mr Bannon previously refused to provide information on the grounds that his communications were protected by a legal doctrine of executive privilege.

A second expected witness, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, also defied his subpoena from the committee on Friday, with Mr Trump having escalated his legal battles to withhold documents and evidence about the insurrection.