'If I go to jail, so be it': Steve Bannon calls Jan 6 panel 'gutless' after Contempt of Congress conviction
Former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon was on Friday, July 22, found guilty on both counts of criminal contempt of Congress for failing to answer a subpoena from the January 6 panel. He could face up to two years in prison.
The same night, Bannon appeared on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight', where Carlson asked the former Breitbart editor how he felt about the possibility that he might be going to prison. Bannon responded, "If I go to jail, I go to jail. I will never back off a second like I spent eight years as a Naval officer. I've committed my life to this program to get this done". ''I will never back off. I support Trump and the constitution and I'm not backing off one inch. If I go to jail, so be it", he continued. ''We have a long appeals process,'' Bannon said of the possibility of an appeal. ''In a number of cases, I believe the law is on our side. I believe that some of this will be decided at a higher level than the appellate courts". Bannon referred to the Democratic Party as being "completely lawless" and said that the January 6 committee hearings were not having an "impact" on people in the United States.
Carlson went on to say that in his entire career working in and around Washington, DC, he had never seen anyone imprisoned for their political beliefs, emphasizing that Bannon was not accused of organizing the January 6 Capitol riot. Earlier in the day, Bannon lashed out at the ''gutless'' members of the ''show trial'' January 6 committee for failing to appear at his trial after a jury found him guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress in a misdemeanor charge after less than three hours of deliberation.
After being found guilty, Bannon expressed gratitude to the judge and jury, but expressed one disappointment, "The gutless members of that show trial J6 committee didn't have the guts to come down here and testify in open court". ''I stand with Trump and the Constitution,'' he added. The former Trump adviser now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in prison and a maximum sentence of two years in prison. In addition, he could face a $1,000 fine. The sentencing date is set for October 21.
January 6 committee leaders Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney said in a statement after the verdict, ''The conviction of Steve Bannon is a victory for the rule of law and an important affirmation of the Select Committee’s work. As the prosecutor stated, Steve Bannon "chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law." Bannon's lawyers called no witnesses on his behalf.
The conviction of Steve Bannon is a victory for the rule of law and an important affirmation of the Select Committee’s work.— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) July 22, 2022
As the prosecutor stated, Steve Bannon ‘chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law.’
People on social media called the conviction of Bannon as "good news" and hailed the January 6th Committee for their "historic" efforts during the prosecution and hearings. "@January6thCmte your efforts are historic. Thank you. In getting to the root cause, the true root cause, here are some highlights. Your efforts, will save democracy", a user wrote.
Meanwhile author Rick Wilson wrote, "Happy Bannon Conviction Day For Those Who Celebrate". To which social worker Zack Hunt replied, "I just put on 3 shirts to celebrate the good news!". Another user wrote, "I'm going to exfoliate to celebrate the good news". One user wrote, "#SteveBannon is going to #Jail #MAGA Make Arresting Great Again :D".
I just put on 3 shirts to celebrate the good news!— Zack Hunt (@ZaackHunt) July 22, 2022
I'm going to exfoliate to celebrate the good news.— Patrick Sullivan (@patrickosully) July 22, 2022
Before Steve Bannon, ‘Hollywood Ten’ were jailed for contempt of Congress
Contempt of Congress is rarely prosecuted, and even less frequently results in jail time. The last time someone was sentenced to prison for this was during the "Red Scare" at the beginning of the Cold War. The "Hollywood Ten" were a group of 10 film writers, directors, and producers who refused to tell the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) whether they were Communists or not. The 10 were Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, and Dalton Trumbo.
In October 1947, the panel house caucus room was transformed into Hollywood on the Potomac as film industry leaders testified about alleged Communist infiltration of the industry at hearings presided over by President J Parnell Thomas (RNJ). The group originally included the German writer Bertolt Brecht, but Brecht fled the country on the day following his inquest, and the remaining 10 were voted in contempt of Congress on November 24, 1947. By mid-1950, all 10 men had been sentenced to prison. Eight of them received a one-year sentence and a $1,000 fine, equivalent to about $12,000 today.