Steve Bannon, former advisor and ally of former President Donald Trump, surrendered to the FBI Monday morning after being indicted by a grand jury on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress on Friday.
Bannon was indicted after failing to cooperate with the investigation of the Jan. 6 incursion of the Capitol. He was subpoenaed, but did not comply.
One count was due to his refusal to appear for a deposition last month and the second count was for his refusal to produce documents.
Though Bannon left the White House in 2017, there have been reports that he was in contact with Trump just days before Jan. 6, according to Politico, which has led the selected House committee investigating the incident to zero in on Bannon.
Bannon made his surrender to the FBI very public as he arranged to have it live-streamed on GETTR, a social media platform launched by members Trump’s inner circle after Trump was banned from Twitter.
“We’re taking down the Biden regime. … Remember, signal not noise. This is all noise. That’s signal,” Bannon said Monday at the agency’s field office in Washington, according to Politico.
“I don’t want anybody to take their eye off the ball on what we do every day,” he said, according to NPR. “We got the Hispanics coming on our side, African Americans coming on our side.”
CBS News reported that after being taken into federal custody, Bannon made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court Monday afternoon before being released on his own recognizance.
He is due to appear in court again on Thursday. In the meantime, he must notify the court if he travels domestically outside of the Washington, D.C., area. He has surrendered his passport to the court and will not be allowed to travel outside of the country without court approval.
Bannon spoke to the crowd outside the court Monday.
“I’m never gonna back down and they they took on the wrong guy this time,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “Joe Biden ordered Merrick Garland to prosecute me from the White House lawn when he got off Marine One, and we’re going to go on the offense. We’re tired of playing defense.”
Bannon seemed calm in the courtroom in front of Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather, ABC News reported.
ABC News predicted that this is the beginning of what could turn into a contentious legal battle.
“The indictment sets off what will likely be a contentious legal battle with significant ramifications for the Jan. 6 committee as it seeks to compel other witnesses to testify about the events leading up to the attempted insurrection, including any communications they may have had with Trump,” the outlet reported.
Investigating the events of Jan. 6 and attempting to get witnesses into court has been in the process for some time now.
“Since my first day in office, I have promised Justice Department employees that together we would show the American people by word and deed that the department adheres to the rule of law, follows the facts and the law and pursues equal justice under the law,” Merrick Garland said on Friday after a grand jury indicted Bannon.
Bannon’s warned as he left the courthouse Monday that he would make the charges against him “the misdemeanor from hell” for the Biden administration.
“This is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden,” he said. “They took on the wrong guy.”
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