Steve Bannon guilty of contempt for defying committee subpoena.
A federal jury has found former Trump adviser Steve Bannon guilty of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack.
The conviction is a victory for the House January 6 select committee as it continues to seek the cooperation of reluctant witnesses in its historic investigation. It is also a victory for the Justice Department, which is under intense scrutiny for its approach to matters related to the January 6 attack.
After nearly two days of hearing evidence and witness testimony, the jury reached a unanimous verdict on the two contempt charges in less than three hours.
Bannon will be sentenced on October 21. He faces a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail, according to federal law.
Bannon's team did not mount a defense during the trial, and he did not take the stand.
He was indicted by a federal grand jury in November after he blew off October deadlines for producing the documents and testimony the committee had subpoenaed.
In demanding his cooperation, the committee had pointed to Bannon's contacts with Trump in the lead up to the Capitol assault, his presence in the so-called war room of Trump allies at the Willard Hotel in Washington the day before the riot, and a prediction he made on his podcast before the riot that "all hell" was going to "break loose."
"In short, Mr. Bannon appears to have played a multi-faceted role in the events of January 6th, and the American people are entitled to hear his first-hand testimony regarding his actions," the House committee report recommend a contempt resolution against him said. The House voted to hold Bannon in contempt in October.
Before the verdict was announced, Bannon entered the courtroom before the jury reassembled in a relatively buoyant mood. He threw his face mask down on the table as soon as he arrived, then sat on his phone for several minutes, a few times showing his lawyer a message.
Once the jury assembled, and before the verdict was read, he had one hand bracing the table, and glanced at the jurors just a few times, primarily watching the judge. He smiled and smirked some after the verdict was read, and then patted his lawyers on the back.
The forewoman read the verdict in a soft voice. She wore a green face mask -- and the rest of the jury all kept their masks on as well.
The jurors answered in unison, "yes," guilty was their verdict.
"We may have lost the battle here today, but we're not going to lose the war," Bannon said upon leaving the courtroom, adding that he respected the jury's verdict.
Bannon said he still stands with the former President. "In the closing argument, the prosecutor missed one very important phrase -- I stand with Trump and the Constitution and I will never back off that, ever," he said.
Bannon is one of two uncooperative witnesses to be charged so far by the Justice Department for contempt of Congress. Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro was indicted by a grand jury last month for not complying with a committee subpoena and has pleaded not guilty.
But two others -- Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino -- were not charged, noted CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig.
"This is about punishment. This is not about forcing somebody to testify," Honig said on CNN's "Newsroom."
"Steve Bannon is being punished now because he defied a congressional subpoena, DOJ charged him, they got their conviction. That's the win," Honig said. "But there's still a bit of a mixed message here because remember DOJ chose not to charge Mark Meadows, they chose not to charge Dan Scavino."
January 6 committee Chair Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said the conviction affirms the panel's work.
"The conviction of Steve Bannon is a victory for the rule of law and an important affirmation of the Select Committee's work," the pair said in a statement. "As the prosecutor stated, Steve Bannon 'chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law.' Just as there must be accountability for all those responsible for the events of January 6th, anyone who obstructs our investigation into these matters should face consequences. No one is above the law."