Steve Bannon found guilty of contempt of Congress after refusing to appear at Capitol riot hearing

The Capitol riot committee had long suspected that Bannon had been unofficially advising the president, ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger reports

Steve Bannon, a long-time ally of former President Donald Trump was convicted on Friday of contempt of Congress.

It comes after he defied a congressional subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

The 68-year-old was convicted after a four-day trial in federal court in Washington on two counts.

The first was for refusing to appear for a deposition and the other for refusing to provide documents in response to the committee’s subpoena.

He now faces up to two years in federal prison when he’s sentenced on October 21.

Each count carries a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail.

Credit: AP

The committee sought Bannon’s testimony over his involvement in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Bannon had initially argued that his testimony was protected by Trump’s claim of executive privilege.

But the House panel and the Justice Department contend such a claim is dubious because Trump had fired Bannon from the White House in 2017 and Bannon was thus a private citizen when he was consulting with the then-president in the run-up to the riot on January 6, 2021.

It come after former US President Donald Trump ignored pleas to condemn the attack on the US Capitol and instead "[poured] gasoline on the fire" as he watched it unfold on television in his dining room, a hearing was told.

The prime-time hearing investigating the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill said despite almost everyone in Trump's team urging him to call on his supporters to stop the attack, he refused to follow their advice and instead celebrated his supporters as "very special".

Never-seen-before outtakes from Trump's speech the day after the riots were played to the panel, showing him telling the camera "I don't want to say the election is over" and refusing to admit the rioters broke the law.

Meanwhile, new recordings of Secret Service radio transmissions revealed how Capitol security agents asked for messages to be relayed telling their own families goodbye during the siege.

The panel's chairman Bennie Thompson, opened Thursday’s hearing saying Trump as president did “everything in his power to overturn the election” he lost to Joe Biden and “lied, he bullied, he betrayed his oath."