Steve Bannon: Former Trump adviser surrenders to FBI over contempt charges related to Capitol riot investigation

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Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has surrendered to the FBI to face criminal charges for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the US Capitol riot.

The former president's longtime ally was dismissive of the allegations as he livestreamed the process of turning himself in.

"We're taking down the Biden regime," he told his supporters as he arrived at FBI offices with bodyguards dressed in black. "I want you guys to stay focused... This is all noise."

The 67-year-old was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday on one count of contempt of Congress for refusing to appear for a deposition and a second count for refusing to provide documents in response to a subpoena.

He is expected to make his first appearance in federal court later on Monday after being taken into custody.

Mr Bannon, a prominent right-wing figure who hosts the conspiracy-minded War Room podcast, has argued that he has a right to keep the requested material confidential under a legal doctrine called executive privilege.

He is among more than 30 people close to Donald Trump who have been ordered to testify by the US House of Representatives Select Committee about what happened in the run-up to 6 January, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to stop formal congressional certification of President Joe Biden's victory.

House investigators hope that Mr Bannon's charges will motivate others to testify, such as former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

US Representative Adam Schiff, Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said Mr Bannon's indictment "would sway others to drop their defiance".

The committee has said Mr Bannon made public statements indicating he knew in advance about "extreme events" that would occur on 6 January.

He said on a podcast the day before that "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow".

If convicted for contempt of Congress, Mr Bannon could face penalties that include up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000 (£744).

Mr Meadows defied his own subpoena from the committee on Friday and Mr Trump has been embroiled in legal battles to withhold documents and evidence related to the uprising.

Mr Trump said in a statement on Sunday: "This country has perhaps never done to anyone what they have done to Steve Bannon and they are looking to do it to others, also."

According to the indictment, Mr Bannon received the subpoena on 24 September and did not communicate with the committee until 7 October, when his lawyer sent a letter seven hours after the deadline for providing the documents.

Requests and demands from Congress over the past five years have often been ignored by Trump administration officials with little consequence, including during the former president's impeachment inquiry.

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