Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist for President Trump who is now mobilizing grassroots opposition to the Biden administration, surrendered to federal authorities Monday following his indictment by a federal grand jury on contempt of Congress charges for defying a House subpoena regarding the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
As he exited his vehicle in front of the FBI’s Washington office, he turned to a camera livestreaming on the social media site Gettr and his popular “War Room” podcast.
“I don’t want anybody to take their eye off the ball of what we do everyday,” he said. “We have Hispanics coming on our side. African-Americans coming on our side. We’re taking down the Biden regime. Every day we need to focus,” Bannon told his supporters.
“I want you guys to stay focused and stay on message,” he said.
“Remember, signal, not noise. This is all noise, that’s signal.”
Bannon has said that the app to watch his “War Room: Pandemic” show has more than 100 million downloads.
See the livestream:
‘Misdemeanor from hell’
Hours later, Bannon emerged from the courthouse vowing to deliver President Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the “misdemeanor from hell,” the National Pulse reported.
He was evoking his description of Hunter Biden’s laptop containing evidence of Biden family influence peddling as the “hard drive from hell.”
“I’m telling you right now, this is going to the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden,” he said.
“Joe Biden ordered Merrick Garland to prosecute me, from the White House lawn, when he got off Marine One,” Bannon alleged.
“We’re going to go on the offense,” he said. “We’re tired of playing defense.”
See Bannon’s remarks:
“This is unheard of, to force a person to violate the invocation of executive privilege,” he said.
Schoen said this “is an issue that the American Civil Liberties Union should be on our side with.”
Attorneys for Bannon told the House committee in an Oct. 7 letter that Trump instructed him not to cooperate because Trump would invoke executive privilege.
The leaders of the House committee — Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. — issued a statement after the charges against Bannon were announced Friday.
“Steve Bannon’s indictment should send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can ignore the Select Committee or try to stonewall our investigation: no one is above the law. We will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to get the information we need,” the Congress members said
The committee indicated other witnesses could be indicted for defying committee subpoenas, including former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“While we’re determined to get all the information we’re seeking, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Bannon, and others who go down this path won’t prevail in stopping the Select Committee’s effort getting answers for the American people about January 6th.”
Co-hosting the “War Room” broadcast on Monday, former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro saluted after the livestream of Bannon surrendering himself to authorities and said, “Brother Bannon with his eye over the target.”
On Sunday, one day before Bannon’s surrender, Trump himself issued a statement about his former aide: “This country has perhaps never done to anyone what they have done to Steve Bannon and they are looking to do it to others, also.”
The House select committee issued a report contending Bannon made statements suggesting he had knowledge of “extreme events” that were to take place on Jan. 6, the day Congress is tasked with certifying the Electoral College vote count.
The committee points to a Jan. 5 broadcast of “War Room” in which Bannon said that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”
However, since the Nov. 3 vote, Bannon had been urging Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the Jan. 6 joint session, to respond to the request of lawmakers in Arizona, Pennsylvania and other states to reject Electoral College votes that they alleged were fraudulent. Pence insisted the Constitution didn’t give him that authority.
The riot at the Capitol actually undermined that effort, halting the session and prompting some lawmakers who supported delaying the vote and sending votes back to battleground states to change their minds and vote for certification.
At a meeting of the House select committee in October, Cheney said: “Mr. Bannon’s and Mr. Trump’s privilege arguments do appear to reveal one thing, however: They suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of Jan. 6th. And we will get to the bottom of that.”
Left-leaning podcaster Rex Chapman posted a video with a supercut of Bannon statements — removed from context — to imply that the former Trump adviser was provoking or even organizing violence on Jan. 6.