Trump Ally Steve Bannon Is Convicted of Contempt

Trump Ally Steve Bannon Is Convicted of Contempt
Trump Ally Steve Bannon Is Convicted of Contempt

A US jury has ruled Donald Trump's former strategist Steve Bannon guilty on two counts of contempt of congress.

Bannon, 68, was indicted last year over his refusal to co-operate with the congressional committee probing the events leading up to the US Capitol riot, the BBC said Saturday.

The former White House chief strategist is said to have been an unofficial adviser to Trump at the time of the insurrection on 6 January 2021. He faces up to two years in jail and up to $200,000 in fines.

Speaking to reporters outside court, Bannon vowed to have the case reversed on what his lawyer called a "bullet-proof appeal".

"We may have lost the battle here today, but we're not going to lose this war," he said. His sentencing has been set for Oct. 21.

Lawyers with the US Department of Justice had argued that Bannon felt "above the law" by ignoring a "mandatory" legal summons from the congressional committee investigating the 6 January breach of the US Capitol.

"Our government only works if people show up, it only works if people play by the rules, and it only works if people are held accountable when they do not," prosecutor Molly Gaston said during closing statements.

"The defendant chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law."

Despite vowing to go "medieval" on his enemies, Bannon's defense team rested its case on Thursday without him testifying and without calling any other witnesses.

Attorneys argued the trial against Bannon was an act of political retribution.

They asserted that, rather than ignoring the subpoenas, he believed he was negotiating on them, and also believed the deadlines in the summons were flexible, not fixed.

The 12-member jury panel deliberated for just under three hours on Friday before reaching its verdict.

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