Steve Bannon in court appearance on charges over US Capitol riot

Former US president Donald Trump’s long-time adviser Steve Bannon made an appearance in federal court yesterday after surrendering to the FBI on criminal charges arising from his defiance of a congressional inquiry into the deadly January 6 US Capitol riot.

r Bannon, indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday on two counts of contempt of Congress, appeared before Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather. Hours earlier, he had turned himself in at an FBI field office in Washington, flanked by bodyguards and making ominous comments about President Joe Biden.

“We’re taking down the Biden regime,” Mr Bannon told a throng of journalists.

In comments aimed at his supporters, Mr Bannon looked directly into a camera that was live-streaming on the social media platform GETTR, founded by Trump ally Jason Miller. “I want you guys to stay focused,” said Mr Bannon, who wore an olive-green coat over black clothing and was accompanied by body guards dressed in black including black face masks, while a demonstrator standing behind him held a sign that read “Coup Plotter”.

“This is all noise,” Mr Bannon added, while also touting his own podcast.

Mr Bannon was indicted on one contempt count for refusing to appear for a deposition before the US House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the January 6 attack and a second count for refusing to produce documents.

Contempt of Congress is a punishable by up to one year in jail.

Mr Bannon is one of more than 30 people close to Mr Trump ordered by the House committee to testify about the run-up to January 6, when a mob of the former president’s supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent formal certification of his ­election loss to Mr Biden.

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