Bannon could face up to 12 months in jail on contempt charges

2686

But the process for sending him to jail isn't so simple.

On Tuesday evening, the House of Representative's select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will vote to move forward with proceedings to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena. CNN reports that the vote is likely to move forward without any opposition in the committee. And if Bannon, Donald Trump's former chief strategist, is found to be in criminal contempt of Congress, he could be facing up to 12 months of jail time. But the process for that to happen isn't so straightforward.

On Sept. 23, the committee sent subpoenas to Bannon, along with three of Trump's closest allies who worked in his administration, asking them to produce materials and correspondence from Jan. 6 and the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol. The committee also asked all four witnesses to appear for depositions.

In response, a lawyer for Bannon replied to the committee that his client was "legally unable to comply" with the subpoena, citing "executive privilege" as the reason, and said that his client will "comply with the directions of the courts, when and if they rule on these claims of both executive and attorney-client privileges."

But select committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) says that Bannon's excuse of "executive privilege" holds no water, and as such the committee has initiated the process to hold him in contempt.

It's a somewhat lengthy process starting with Tuesday's vote. CNN reports that the contempt report will head to the House for a full vote, and if it succeeds, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will certify the report with the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, who will then bring the matter before a grand jury to determine the next action.

According to the U.S. Code, that action could mean anything from a $100 fine to one to 12 months of jail time.

CNN reports that the Justice Department is also making "its own determinations for prosecution." As severe as it sounds, though, to successfully prosecute Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress is a process that, CNN says, "could take years, and historically, criminal contempt cases have been derailed by appeals and acquittals."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.