Steve Bannon Guilty of Obstructing Capitol Assault Investigation | International


Steve Bannon this Friday in Washington DC, during his trial.JONATHAN ERNST (REUTERS)

Steve Bannon, former adviser to Donald Trump, has been found guilty this Friday of obstructing the investigation of the commission that purges responsibilities on the assault on the Capitol, on January 6, 2021. Bannon, a reference for the alt right American and main ideologue of national populism in the world, from Jair Bolsonaro to Matteo Salvini, will be sentenced for contempt for disobeying a summons from the investigative committee, in what many consider a victory for the nine-member panel (seven Democrats and two Republicans) that makes it up.

In any case, these are minor crimes for the seriousness of the event, defined by the members of the commission as an attempted coup d’état instigated by Trump, and supported by his relatives. Although Bannon left the White House after serving as the Republican’s strategist during the 2016 election campaign and in the early stages of his term, he has closed ranks with his former boss by refusing to provide testimony or documents to the commission for its investigation. about the Trump insurrection.

Each count of contempt of Congress is punishable by between 30 days and one year in jail, as well as a variable fine of between $100 and $100,000.

The verdict of the jury, made up of eight men and four women, was swift, after just three hours of deliberations, and is the first sentence for contempt of Congress since 1974. You have to go back to the days of the scandal Watergateduring the presidency of Richard Nixon, for a similar case, when a judge found guilty G. Gordon Liddy, involved in the wiretapping plot.

Bannon was the main architect of Trump’s electoral victory in 2016, to whom he instilled a radical discourse, plagued with disqualifications about women or immigrants, in addition to the Democrats, which nevertheless permeated broad layers of the population left behind by the Great 2008 recession and overlooked by the Washington establishment. Once Trump became president, Bannon, 68, served as his main strategist during 2017, before a fight between the two separated him from the White House, although they later managed to redirect their relationship. Bannon has also inspired the media battle of the so-called alternative right at the forefront of disinformation propagating media such as Breitbart News.

Bannon’s defense maintains that his client is a political target, while describing the main prosecution witness as a Democrat with clear political motivation and known ties to one of the prosecutors. The prosecution claims, for its part, that Bannon showed utter disdain for authority and that he must be held accountable for his defiance of the law. In the two days of testimony, prosecutors questioned only two witnesses. The defense did not use their turn.

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Another former Trump adviser, Peter Navarro, was charged separately with contempt of Congress in June for refusing to appear and testify before the commission. Navarro’s trial is scheduled for November. The Justice Department opted not to indict two other Trump loyalists, Mark Meadows and Daniel Scavino, for the same reason despite a House vote recommending doing so. Unlike Bannon, Meadows delivered some communications to the committee.

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