Steve Bannon, an ally and former adviser to Donald Trump, turned himself in to the FBI, the American federal police, this Monday (15). He was indicted for contempt for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas to testify on the Jan. 6 invasion of Capitol Hill.
Bannon also made his submission to the FBI an act of propaganda for his ideals. Smiling, he looked directly at the camera that streamed everything live on Gettr, the social network created by and for Trump supporters, and told his followers to stay focused.
“We are overthrowing the Biden regime,” said Bannon, using the term often associated with dictatorships. “I want you guys to stay focused, this is all noise.”
The opening of the contempt case was approved by the House of Representatives in October and then moved to the office of US Attorney General Merrick Garland, appointed by Joe Biden to the position.
In a statement, Garland, under heavy pressure, said the indictment “reflects the Justice Department’s unwavering commitment to the principles of upholding the rule of law, following the law and seeking justice.”
The charges of contempt of Congress carry a minimum term of imprisonment of 30 days and a maximum of one year, as well as a fine of US$100 (R$546) to US$1,000 (R$5,460).
The commission of deputies investigating the attack on Capitol Hill said it had reason to believe that Bannon, strategist for Trump’s 2016 election campaign, could be a key player in helping to understand the episode.
Last Friday, Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, declined to testify before the commission, which could also earn him an accusation of contempt. Meadows’ defense used the same argument as Trump and Bannon.
They claim that the former president’s communications are protected by executive privilege, a mechanism that preserves the confidentiality of White House records.