Steve Bannon found guilty of contempt of Congress

By Katelyn Polantz, Tierney Sneed, Aditi Sangal, JiMin Lee, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT) July 22, 2022
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3:16 p.m. ET, July 22, 2022

Judge sets Bannon's sentencing for Oct. 21

From CNN's Tierney Sneed and Katelyn Polantz

US District Judge Carl Nichols has set Steve Bannon's sentencing for Oct. 21.

A federal jury found Bannon guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

In the courtroom, Bannon smiled as they read the verdict. He looked back and forth between the courtroom deputy and the foreperson.

Bannon faces a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail, according to federal law. 

Oct. 14, the date that the judge set for the Justice Department to submit its sentencing recommendation, will be the one year to the day of when Bannon failed to show up for the testimony demanded in the House Jan. 6 committee subpoena.

3:12 p.m. ET, July 22, 2022

Jury finds Steve Bannon guilty of contempt for defying Jan. 6 committee subpoena

From CNN's Tierney Sneed, Katelyn Polantz and Holmes Lybrand

Steve Bannon speaks to reporters on Thursday, a day before he was found guilty.
Steve Bannon speaks to reporters on Thursday, a day before he was found guilty. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

A federal jury found former Trump adviser Steve Bannon guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

These are the two counts he was found guilty of:

  • Count 1: Refusal to appear for a deposition 
  • Count 2: Refusal to produce documents 

Bannon faces a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail, according to federal law.

The conviction is a boost for the House Jan. 6 Committee’s investigation and the congressional power to subpoena documents and testimony. It is also a victory for the Justice Department, which is under intense scrutiny for its approach to matters related to the Jan. 6 attack. 

After two days of hearing evidence and witness testimony, the jury reached a unanimous verdict in less than three hours.

2:50 p.m. ET, July 22, 2022

JUST IN: The jury has reached a verdict in Steve Bannon's criminal contempt case

From Tierney Sneed, Katelyn Polantz and Holmes Lybrand

The jury weighing former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s contempt of Congress charges has reached a verdict, US District Judge Carl Nichols announced.

The jury deliberated for nearly three hours.

2:26 p.m. ET, July 22, 2022

Jury in Steve Bannon trial sends note to judge

From Tierney Sneed, Katelyn Polantz and Holmes Lybrand

The jury in Steve Bannon’s criminal contempt of Congress case has sent a note to the judge, a court official told CNN.

Lawyers from both sides in the case are assembling in the courtroom.

3:30 p.m. ET, July 22, 2022

Here's a look inside the federal courtroom before the jury began deliberating in the Steve Bannon trial

(Sketch by Bill Hennessy)
(Sketch by Bill Hennessy)

Here's a look at artist Bill Hennessy's sketch from Friday's proceedings at the federal court where former President Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon is on trial on charges of contempt of Congress.

There are no cameras allowed in the federal courtroom in Washington, DC, but the artist's sketch provides a glimpse of the events unfolding inside.

Bannon's defense attorney Evan Corcoran and prosecutor Molly Gaston can be seen speaking to the jury in the sketch above as US District Judge Carl Nichols sits behind.

This sketch below shows Bannon routinely texting during breaks.

Earlier today, closing arguments took place. The jury has been deliberating on the case since 11:37 a.m. ET.

(Sketch by Bill Hennessy)
(Sketch by Bill Hennessy)

11:40 a.m. ET, July 22, 2022

Jury deliberations begin

US District Judge Carl Nichols adjourned former Trump aide Steve Bannon's trial for jury deliberations at 11:37 a.m. ET.

Bannon is on trial on misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges for failing to comply with subpoenas from the committee.

3:30 p.m. ET, July 22, 2022

"Give me a break": DOJ rebuttal takes aim at last minute cooperation offer

From CNN's Tierney Sneed and Katelyn Polantz

Rebutting Steve Bannon's defense team's closing argument, prosecutor Amanda Vaughn took aim at the recent offer by the former President Donald Trump aide to testify for the House Select Committee investigating the riot at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Bannon is on trial on misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges for failing to comply with subpoenas from the committee.

"You know what's really going on there," Vaughn told the jury, noting that Bannon didn't comply for many months and how the offer only came just before his criminal trial.

"He and his friend, former President Trump, suddenly decide he's going to comply? Give me a break!" she said. "Don't be fooled by that."

She told the jury that "the only purpose of those letters is so the defendant could come in" and try to convince the jury "that a deadline is not a deadline."

The letter was "nothing but a ploy. And it's not even a good one," she said, explaining it's because Bannon didn't say he'd provide documents at all.

12:26 p.m. ET, July 22, 2022

Rocky ending to Bannon's closing argument as his attorney brings up politics

From CNN's Tierney Sneed and Katelyn Polantz

Steve Bannon's attorney Evan Corcoran veered several times into subjects the court wouldn't allow him to discuss with the jury as he wrapped up his closing argument for Bannon's innocence.

A patter of objections from the Justice Department team that the judge agreed with led to a rocky final few minutes of Bannon's case.

Among other things, Corcoran tried to allude to the politics of the House select committee, which Judge Carl Nichols had ruled had no role in the prosecution of the case.

He suggested maybe Bannon and his attorney made a mistake, before being cut off with an objection from DOJ.

Corcoran then began to speak about listening to a foreign country's news while drinking his morning coffee, hearing about "people in power" trying to "silence the opposition." That too prompted an objection, which the judge agreed with as well.

"We come to our political views honestly ... no one should ... face a criminal prosecution ... based on politics," he then said. Another objection, and more agreement from the judge.

Barely pausing by the end as the objections rolled in, Corcoran ended his speech saying, "politics can play no role."

"It's important we are all in this together, and Steve Bannon is innocent," Corcoran said, his last words to the jury.

11:17 a.m. ET, July 22, 2022

Trial resumes for DOJ rebuttal

From CNN's Tierney Sneed and Katelyn Polantz

After a brief recess taken after the defense's closing arguments, the trial has resumed, and the Justice Department presenting its rebuttal to the defense's closing argument.

Prosecutor Amanda Vaughn is arguing the rebuttal.