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According to a court filing released Wednesday, Steve Bannon, the one-time adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump, is pleading not guilty to his contempt of Congress charges.
Bannon, who defied a subpoena by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that asked documents and deposition from him, was indicted by a federal grand jury last Friday over two charges of criminal contempt of Congress, one for failing to appear for a deposition before the panel on Oct. 14 and another for refusal to provide documents before the Oct. 7 deadline.
"I do hereby waive formal arraignment and enter my plea of NOT GUILTY to the indictment," read the court filing, which bears Bannon's signature at the bottom.
Bannon said he and his attorneys would participate in a virtual conference anticipated to be convened by the court on Thursday, during which he did not need to have his charges read by a judge. Skipping a formal arraignment, however, will have to be approved by the judge.
If convicted, Bannon will face up to two years in jail and a maximum fine of 200,000 U.S. dollars, according to the Justice Department's announcement of Bannon's indictment.
Surrendering himself to federal authorities on Monday, Bannon struck a defiant tone when briefly addressing the reporters. "I'm telling you right now, this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for (Attorney General) Merrick Garland, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and (President) Joe Biden. ... We're going on the offense," he said.