Four days of trial and three hours of deliberation: the jury did not drag. Former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon was found guilty on Friday of two charges of obstructing the congressional investigation into the Capitol storming in federal court in Washington. Bannon, who will be sentenced on October 21, faces between two months and two years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines. But Donald Trump’s former strategist is expected to appeal the guilty verdict by then.
Steve Bannon was on trial for refusing to testify and provide documents to the congressional commission of inquiry into the January 6 violence. The latter suspects Bannon of having played an unofficial role in coordinating the resistance of Republican elected officials to the certification of the results, and he has also been in contact with organizers of the January 6 demonstrations. After speaking with Donald Trump, he had launched, the day before, in his podcast: “Hang up your seat belts, it’s going to go into a spin. »
“Ignore a PV”
For the prosecutors, the case was simple: the congressional committee has the power to summon Steve Bannon to appear, and his refusal amounted to “ignoring a report”.
To justify his refusal, Steve Bannon invoked the right of presidents to keep certain conversations secret. But the judge rejected his argument, noting that the architect of Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 was no longer the president’s adviser in January 2021. It is in particular on this question of the “privilege” of his conversations that Steve Bannon could base his coming call.