Advertisement

Steve Bannon pleads not guilty to obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Click to play video: 'Steve Bannon surrenders to FBI following indictment for contempt of Congress' Steve Bannon surrenders to FBI following indictment for contempt of Congress
WATCH: Steve Bannon surrenders to FBI following indictment for contempt of Congress – Nov 15, 2021

Former President Donald Trump‘s longtime adviser Steve Bannon on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that he defied a congressional subpoena from a U.S. House panel investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to court documents.

Bannon, who made his initial appearance in federal court on Monday, was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress.

Bannon has vowed to fight the congressional subpoena, telling reporters outside the courthouse on Monday that he believes the prosecution is a politically motivated attack against him by President Joe Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Read more: Steve Bannon surrenders to FBI, taken into custody on contempt charges

He was due to be arraigned in court on Thursday, but agreed to waive his right to a formal reading of the indictment, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.

Story continues below advertisement

The U.S. House of Representatives, led by the Democrats, voted on Oct. 21 to hold Bannon in contempt, leaving it up to the Justice Department, headed by Garland, to decide on any charges.

A Republican, Trump has sought to stonewall the House committee and directed his associates not to cooperate, claiming that a former president has a right to keep the requested material confidential under a legal doctrine called executive privilege.

Click to play video: 'U.S. House votes to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt' U.S. House votes to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt
U.S. House votes to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt – Oct 21, 2021

Bannon, a prominent figure in right-wing media circles, was an architect of Trump’s 2016 presidential victory and served as White House chief strategist in 2017.

He faces one contempt count for refusing to appear for a deposition before the House Select Committee and a second for refusing to produce documents.

Contempt of Congress is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison along with a fine of up to US$100,000.

Story continues below advertisement

In a fiery speech before the riot, Trump told followers to “fight like hell.” Four people died in the riot. A Capitol Police officer attacked by protesters died a day later and four officers later took their own lives. About 140 officers were injured.

Sponsored content