Steve Bannon is pleading not guilty to both counts of criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to multiple outlets.
Bannon will appear before the court Thursday morning to enter his plea, and the case will be heard by District Judge Carl Nichols, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.
STEVE BANNON INDICTED FOR CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS IN JAN. 6 INVESTIGATION
Bannon, who previously vowed to fight the "misdemeanor from hell" charge, was released by authorities on Monday after surrendering himself to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"If the administrative state wants to take me on, bring it," he said Monday. "We're gonna go on offense."
A federal grand jury indicted him last week for failing to appear before the House committee and providing the committee with documents pertinent to its investigation. Bannon was warned by the House committee that he would face contempt charges back in October, and Congress voted to hold him in contempt several weeks later.
Bannon cited executive privilege, which Trump invoked in connection to Jan. 6 documents, in his refusal to comply with the congressional subpoena.
But the Biden administration waived executive privilege last month, and the committee chairman has dismissed claims that executive privilege shields Bannon and other witnesses from needing to comply with congressional subpoenas.
Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, also failed to comply with the committee, which has yet to announce its response to the lack of compliance. Unlike Meadows, Bannon was not a member of the Trump administration during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
In public comments following Bannon's appearance with the FBI, his lawyer, David Schoen, suggested the committee was politically motivated and comprised members who had "prejudged" the situation publicly. He said the House committee was "not an investigative committee" but rather "a scam from the beginning."
The House committee is interested in any knowledge or connection Bannon may have had to the riot. The day before the attack took place, Bannon publicly suggested the planned demonstration on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C., would be significant.
"All hell is going to break loose tomorrow," Bannon said. "Just understand this. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s gonna be moving. It’s gonna be quick."
Steve Bannon addresses the issue of his name trending on Twitter for saying, “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s gonna be moving. It’s gonna be quick.” (Jan 5) pic.twitter.com/v0wySN27kM— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 29, 2021
Prior to leaving office, Trump pardoned Bannon for indictments over allegations that he raised money for a U.S. border wall under fraudulent conditions.
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Bannon's plea will likely have significant implications for Meadows and other former Trump officials that have tried to avoid complying with requests from the House committee.