Trump ally Bannon surrenders to face Capitol riot probe charges
Former president Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon expressed defiance on Nov. 15 after surrendering to the FBI to face charges of contempt of Congress after refusing to testify on the January 6 Capitol assault.
He accused President Joe Biden of having "ordered" the Justice Department to prosecute him.
"I'm never going to back down," he told reporters after appearing before a judge to hear the charges.
"We're going on the offense on this. And stand by," he said, repeating the phrase Trump used during the election last year to encourage supporters of a far-right militia group.
On Friday, acting on a referral from Congress, a federal grand jury indicted Bannon for snubbing a subpoena to testify and supply documents to the House Select Committee investigating the violent January 6 attack on the US Congress by Trump supporters.
Investigators believe Bannon and other advisors to Trump could have information on links between the White House and the mob that invaded the Capitol, on the day it was due to certify Joe Biden as winner of the November 2020 presidential election.
But, although he was not a White House employee or official Trump advisor, Bannon's attorneys said he was protected by presidential privilege and did not have to cooperate with the committee.
Bannon, 67, was indicted by a grand jury with two misdemeanor counts of contempt, each one carrying a penalty of one month to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $100,000.
The indictment was a significant victory for the House Select Committee, which is battling efforts by Trump to use his privilege as a former president to block the committee from obtaining testimony and documents necessary for the probe.
"Steve Bannon's indictment should send a clear...