Steve Bannon, the former adviser to Donald Trump, appeared in court on Monday, Nov. 15, after being indicted by the judiciary on Friday for failing to appear to testify before the House committee investigating the January 6 incidents on Capitol Hill. As he left court, Bannon blamed the president and the attorney general for persecuting his political opponents.
Pointing to a group of people protesting and mocking him in front of the court where he testified, the former Trump advisor who also had a group of people supporting him explained that the United States is just that, diversity of opinions, that everyone can have a different opinion and have their freedom of speech.
But he disavowed the decision to have been charged for his alleged role in the January 6 incidents in which a group of protesters forcibly entered the congressional grounds while the certification of the presidential election was taking place.
“I am telling you right now, this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden,” Bannon said. “Joe Biden order Merrick Garland to prosecute me from the White House lawn when he got off the Marine One.”
Bannon was initially subpoenaed to testify and provide documentation by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 incidents for his alleged ‘closeness’ to former President Trump. Democrats on the committee say Bannon helped Trump organize the rally that ended with the riots.
On the advice of Trump’s lawyers, all of his former officials refused to testify before the committee citing ‘executive privilege’ which protects the confidentiality of communications between government officials.
As a result, the House committee asked the Justice Department to charge Bannon for failing to respond to the subpoena.
Justice decided to indict Bannon last Friday and in response, the former Trump adviser came forward on Monday to testify.
If Bannon is found guilty he faces a fine of up to $1,000 for each offense, and a year in prison.
As part of the indictment, Bannon had to surrender his passport and must request permission to leave Washington DC where he currently resides, and report periodically.
The judge set a hearing for next Thursday, November 18, where Bannon must testify.
While the mainstream media accuses Trump and Bannon of inciting his supporters, an FBI investigation found little or no evidence that the incidents were coordinated.
In addition, Trump was acquitted of the second impeachment attempt. He was accused of inciting the incidents, so it is unclear what the committee’s goal is with the investigation.
During the committee’s makeup, which by procedure must be composed of members of both parties to avoid political bias, Nancy Pelosi rejected Republican lawmakers nominated by Leader McCarthy and placed Republicans who are known for their anti-Trump stances.
According to Breitbart, answering a question from the press, President Biden said that for him, the Trump allies investigated by the House committee should indeed be prosecuted.
The first impeachment against Trump was precisely for having asked to investigate Joe Biden’s son’s business dealings with Burisma, a Ukrainian company.
Bannon promises to fight back
Bannon was defiant as he left the court and promised to take a more aggressive approach, saying, “We are going on the offense, we are tired of playing defense and so going on the offense on this. Stand by.”
For the former adviser, his case represents a larger cause that goes beyond one’s political affiliation.
“Not just Trump people and not just conservatives — every progressive, every liberal in this country that likes freedom of speech and liberty should be fighting for this case. That’s why I’m here today: for everybody. I’m never going to back down,” Bannon said according to The Hill.
Another former high-ranking official who could face the same prospect as Bannon is Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff in Trump’s final days as the president, who also declined to testify.
Democrats and the mainstream media accuse Trump and his allies of challenging election certification without evidence—a procedure contemplated by law—although in reality, the courts where the challenges were filed, including the Supreme Court, chose to dismiss the cases without ever reviewing the evidence.