Trump ally Steve Bannon made his initial appearance in federal court in DC today on two charges of contempt of Congress, stemming from a House committee’s investigation into the riots on January 6. Some Washingtonians had wondered whether Bannon would be detained, and where, but Judge Robin Meriweather released Bannon while his case proceeds.
Bannon was ordered to surrender his passport. He is required to check in with the court’s pre-trial services division on a weekly basis, by phone. Meriweather barred him from traveling outside the US without court approval. (In 2020, you may remember, Bannon was arrested on federal charges brought by prosecutors in New York while on a yacht owned by a Chinese billionaire.)
Bannon was mobbed by press amid his court appearance Monday. Photos from Washingtonian photographer Evy Mages outside the courthouse:
Bannon had live-streamed his surrender to the FBI earlier in the day. “I want you guys to stay focused, stay on message. Remember signal, not noise,” he said. “I don’t want anybody to take your eye off the ball of what we do every day.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 15, 2021
Bannon will be arraigned in a virtual hearing on Thursday, November 18. Each count of contempt of Congress carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a fine of $100 to $100,000.