– Bannon sentenced to 4 months in prison, Trump subpoenaed
The U.S. Justice Department has barred former adviser Donald Trump from “bad faith” investigations into the attack on Congress.
A House of Commons inquiry into the capital storm subpoenaed former Republican President Donald Trump on Friday. This is “on or around November 14th”, after the midterm elections.
In a letter made public, he directed him to submit the full documents, including a statement of all his communications on January 6, 2021, four days before the polls, before November 4.
“We recognize that subpoenaing a former president is an important and historic step that we will not take lightly,” said Democrat-elect Penny Thompson and Republican Liz Cheney, who oversee the commission. A panel of seven elected Democrats and two Republicans voted unanimously on Oct. 13 to invite the former president.
The epitome of populism
Steve Bannon, an influential White House adviser to Donald Trump, was sentenced Friday to four months in prison for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the attack on the Capitol.
This 68-year-old man, a figure of right-wing populism in the United States, immediately announced his intention to appeal, which suspends the application of the sentence.
So he was able to walk out of court. In front of the cameras, he promised to “respect the judge’s decision,” but immediately veered into political territory.
“November 8 will be the judgment day for (Joe) Biden’s (…) misrule, and we know how it will end,” he said, referring to midterm elections in which Democrats could lose control of Congress.
Citing several members of the January 6 investigative commission charged with shedding light on Donald Trump’s role in a coup against his supporters, Steve Bannon predicted they would be “beaten up.”
“Contempt” and “Bad Faith”
He was convicted in July of obstructing congressional investigative powers after refusing to respond to the commission’s subpoenas.
Prosecutors sought a six-month jail term based on his “contempt” and his “bad faith” throughout the proceedings. His lawyers asked for a sentence of parole or house arrest.
Judge Carl Nichols ultimately chose a four-month prison sentence with a $6,500 fine.
“Respect for Congress is an important part of our constitutional system,” he reasoned, stressing that Steve Bannon “has not provided any documents or any testimony to the commission” to date.
Steve Bannon, a staunch critic of the establishment, investment banker or director of the far-right news site Breitbart, is considered one of the architects of Donald Trump’s victory in 2016.
Having become one of the president’s most powerful advisers, he was forced out of the White House in August 2017 after far-right violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
But he remained close to the Republican billionaire and had another exchange of views with him ahead of the January 5, 2021, attack on the congressional headquarters. After their conversation, he predicted the attack of “all hell” on Washington the next day.
A Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry had called Steve Bannon to testify and produce documents to find out the content of their discussions. He had refused, citing the right of presidents and members of the executive to keep certain conversations confidential.
“A Private Citizen”
But Donald Trump did not exercise this right, and Steve Bannon, “who was a private citizen on January 6,” could not exercise it, Judge Nichols emphasized.
During his trial in July, Steve Bannon did not present witnesses and did not speak. Jurors found him guilty after less than three hours of deliberation.
Steve Bannon has been charged with fraud by a New York judge as part of an investigation into one of Donald Trump’s key campaign promises: raising funds to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
Before he was pardoned by Donald Trump in the final days of his presidency, he was already embroiled in the case by federal justice. As the former president himself has been subjected to several investigations, the commission announced that it will issue a summons on January 6 for him to appear.
Its members, seven Democrats and two Republicans, must issue a report on their work by the end of the year in which they could recommend impeachment against the former president. The decision ultimately rests with Justice Minister Merrick Garland, a man of no-holds-barred discretion.