A federal jury found Donald Trump's former aide Steve Bannon guilty of contempt of Congress on Friday for defying a subpoena to testify before lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Bannon, who led Trump's 2016 presidential election campaign, was among hundreds of people called by a House of Representatives committee to testify about the storming of Congress. Protesters' goal was to disrupt congressional certification of Electoral College votes showing Trump had lost to Joe Biden.
Bannon, the 68-year-old Republican strategist, did not appear on the summons date or provide requested documents for the investigative panel, and was indicted on two charges of contempt of Congress.
The 12-person jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Bannon guilty of both misdemeanor charges.
Bannon, who served as Trump's strategy chief at the White House before being sacked in 2017, faces a minimum of 30 days in jail and a maximum sentence of a year for each count.
Sentencing was set for October. Each count carries a minimum penalty of 30 days behind bars and a maximum of a year.
Presenting the government's case, prosecutor Amanda Vaughn told the jury that Bannon was "not above the law" and had made a "deliberate decision" not to obey the subpoena.
Bannon's attorneys did not call any witnesses during the brief trial and he did not testify in his own defense.
Bannon's lawyer Evan Corcoran denied his client had ignored the subpoena, saying the date was "the subject of ongoing discussions and negotiation" and "flexible."
The decision to hold Bannon in contempt was politically motivated, Corcoran claimed.
Vaughn said the House committee had cause to believe Bannon and other Trump advisors may have information on links between the White House and the Capitol rioters.
According to the committee, Bannon spoke to Trump the day before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to block the Biden victory certification. Trump has repeatedly alleged he lost due to massive voter fraud.
The protesters acted after Trump, in a fiery speech near the White House, repeated his claims of election fraud.
After refusing to testify for months, Bannon finally agreed to cooperate with the House investigation, a move prosecutors dismissed as a "last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability."