Jury Begins Deliberations in Contempt Trial of Former Trump Aide Steve Bannon

WASHINGTON—Jurors on July 22 began deliberations in the contempt of Congress trial of former White House adviser Steve Bannon.

Deliberations started after closing arguments.

Prosecutors called just two witnesses—Kristen Amerling, a lawyer for the House of Representatives committee investigating the U.S. Capitol breach that took place on Jan. 6, 2021, and an FBI agent who analyzed Bannon’s social media posts and interviewed Amerling. The defense called no witnesses.

Bannon was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress after refusing in 2021 to provide materials or testimony to the committee.

He faces up to two years in jail if convicted of both counts.

Bannon has said he was following the assertion of executive privilege claimed by former President Donald Trump over the information he has. Prosecutors say he broke the law and should be convicted.

Closing Arguments

“This case is not complicated but it is important. This is a simple case about a man—that man, Steve Bannon—who didn’t show up.” Why didn’t he show up? He didn’t want to provide the January 6 committee with documents, didn’t want to recognize the government’s authority,” Molly Gaston, a prosecutor, told the jury.

“Why is this important? Government only works if people show up, play by the rules, and are held accountable when they do not.”

The defendant committed a crime by defying a congressional subpoena, Gaston added.

“The defendant chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law,” she said.

Panel members have said they believe Bannon, who left the Trump administration in 2017, has information about the events that unfolded on Jan. 6. They say he participated in a meeting in the Willard Hotel that included people involved in the breach and noted he said a day before the breach that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

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