Provocative Steve Bannon, longtime adviser to former President Donald Trump, went to the FBI on Monday to face contempt of Congress charges after refusing to testify about the Jan.6 assault on Capitol Hill.
“It’s just noise,” he said of his indictment as he arrived at the FBI’s field office in Washington.
“I want you to stay focused on the message,” he said, promoting his “War Room” website. “We are removing the Biden regime.”
A federal grand jury indicted Bannon, 67, on Friday for refusing to testify or provide documents to the special House committee investigating the violent attack on the United States Congress by Trump supporters on the day he was due to certify Joe Biden as the winner in the November 2020 presidential election.
Investigators believe Bannon and other Trump aides and advisers may have information about the White House’s connections to the supporters who invaded Capitol Hill.
Mr Bannon was charged with two counts of contempt, each carrying a sentence of one month to one year in prison.
The indictment was a significant victory for the House Select Committee, which fights Trump’s efforts to use presidential privilege to prevent the committee from obtaining testimony and documents needed for the investigation.
“Steve Bannon’s indictment should send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can ignore the select committee or try to block our investigation: no one is above the law,” said committee chairman Bennie Thompson and Vice President Liz Cheney in a statement.
Mr Bannon is expected to appear in court later Monday on arraignment and will likely be released on bail.
He was among the first of dozens who were called to testify on the violent attack to shut down Congress following Trump’s baseless claims that Biden won the election due to massive voter fraud.
The attack, in which five people died, succeeded in delaying the joint certification session for the House-Senate elections by several hours.