- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to two counts of criminal contempt of Congress after being indicted for failing to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Bannon filed the plea in the U.S. District Court in Washington ahead of a virtual hearing scheduled for Thursday, which will be Mr. Bannon’s first appearance before District Judge Carl Nichols, who will oversee the case.

Mr. Bannon vowed Monday after a brief court hearing that he was “going to go on the offense.”

“This is going to be a misdemeanor from hell for [Attorney General] Merrick Garland, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden,” he told reporters.

Mr. Bannon surrendered to federal authorities on Monday and appeared briefly before Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather, though did not enter a plea at that time. The judge ordered Mr. Bannon to surrender his passport and check in weekly with court officials.

The Trump ally was indicted Friday following a vote last month by the Democratic-run House recommending criminal contempt charges for failure to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the pro-Trump attack at the Capitol.

The panel had demanded that Mr. Bannon produce documents and appear for a scheduled deposition.

Lawmakers on the committee say Mr. Bannon was communicating with then-President Donald Trump in the lead-up to a Jan. 6 rally near the White House, and made statements that they say indicated his foreknowledge of the riot.

Mr. Bannon told the committee that he would not participate in the investigation, citing the former president’s assertion of executive privilege.

Mr. Trump has sued federal officials over the release of presidential documents related to the Jan. 6 probe.

Mr. Bannon could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000 for each count if found guilty.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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