WASHINGTON – Six years after use Donald Trump as the “ship” to implement his far-right agenda, podcaster and one-time White House aide Steve Bannon was slapped in handcuffs on Monday and briefly detained in his continuing service to his former boss.
“We are taking down the Biden regime,” Bannon told reporters outside FBI headquarters as he appeared following indictment last week on a charge of criminal outrage in Congress based on his refusal to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating Trump – incited to assault the United States Capitol on January 6.
Not long after, his podcast mates expressed their outrage that US marshals forced him to wear handcuffs as he awaited his first appearance before a federal judge.
“It’s atrocious to treat someone like that,” said Raheem Kassam, a Briton who worked for Brexit advocate Nigel Farage. “Be strong. Hashtag ‘stay with Bannon.’ “
Peter Navarro, one of Trump’s best aides who advocated using the military to help the then president stay in power after losing the 2020 election, said the handcuffs would not upset the naval officer. a long time ago. “He’ll wear those things like bracelets and laugh at these people,” Navarro said, calling Bannon a “trained warrior.”
The trained warrior, however, dropped the combative tone in court Monday afternoon when he appeared before a federal judge who told him he had to show up weekly with court officials, hand over his passport, notify the court of any travel outside. of Washington and obtain court permission before leaving the continental United States. No bail would be required for the two misdemeanor charges, each of which carries up to one year in prison and a $ 100,000 fine if convicted.
When Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather asked if he understood those conditions, Bannon said simply and quietly, “Yes, Your Honor.”
Back out later, his bombast returned. “What we are doing is confronting Biden’s illegitimate regime,” he said, repeating the lie that President Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election.
“Joe Biden ordered Merrick Garland to prosecute me from the White House lawn,” he added, accusing the president of instructing the US Attorney General to apply a penalty that federal law already requires for contempt of Congressional cases. “I’ll never back down. This time they got the wrong person. “
Pouring the far right into Trump
In the summer of 2015, after Trump entered the 2016 Republican primary, Bannon essentially took the businessman under his wing with repeated appearances on his Sirius XM radio show. Trump knew little about far-right orthodoxy, but Bannon trained him through appearances, bragged afterwards, telling anyone who wanted to hear that Trump was simply a “pot” for the ideas he had been pushing for years as Breitbart boss. News, which he once described as a platform for the “alt-right”. He said he and Stephen Miller had plotted to find a candidate to push their anti-immigration themes in the 2016 primary to force top GOP candidates to at least acknowledge the problem, never dreaming that their chosen candidate would actually win.
Bannon’s involvement with Trump’s campaign became more direct a month after Trump became the candidate in July 2016, when Bannon became the “CEO” of the operation. After Trump won, Bannon became the “chief strategist” in the White House and enjoyed showing his agenda, written on a whiteboard in his office, checking the elements as Trump signed executive orders, implemented rules, or pulled out. international agreements.
But Bannon only lasted seven months on the job. He was kicked out by a new cabinet chief, John Kelly, who tried to bring rationality and order to the Trump White House. Not long after, Trump himself issued a lengthy statement lashing out at Bannon, even calling him “Sloppy Steve,” after seeing Bannon criticize Trump and take credit for his policies in a 2018 book.
Bannon said at the time that he was happy to be on the outside and claimed he still has more power there. But it wasn’t until Trump’s impeachment two years later for attempting to extort Ukraine to aid his re-election effort that Bannon’s voice regained prominence with the start of his “War Room: Impeachment” show. which has become a clearinghouse for pro-Trump propaganda.
Trump’s acquittal coincided with the start of the pandemic in early 2020, and Bannon changed the show’s name to “War Room: Pandemic,” which in its early months offered real news mixed with conspiracy theories about the coronavirus.
All the election lies, all the time
Today, Bannon’s podcast – which is also streamed on the Internet and is broadcast by a smattering of radio stations in Virginia and Atlanta – has become the go-to source for Trump’s election lies, anti-vaccine propaganda and a open defense of those arrested for their participation in the US Capitol uprising.
Indeed, his aggressive dishonesty regarding the election and his encouragement to Trump supporters who came to Washington on January 6 to take action to give Trump a second term formed the basis of the House Select Committee summons. That document noted his January 5 show, in which he promised “hell will break loose” the following day, as well as his involvement in a “war room” that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, a frequent guest on the show. of Bannon, had settled in a downtown Washington hotel to plan the January 6 efforts.
“One hundred percent branding,” Kurt Bardella, who worked for Bannon, told Breitbart News on Monday. “He truly believes he is above the law and above Congress.”
Bannon remained unusually silent in his program of subpoena, the House vote to despise him, and the grand jury indictment.
Friday afternoon, right after the allegation was unveiled, Bannon made no mention of it, except perhaps for the cryptic reference: “There are no whines, no tears in the War Room.”
In the Saturday morning broadcast, Bannon did not discuss the indictment again, but spent the hour advancing the conspiracy theory that January 6 was a federal intelligence operation and that those at risk of arrest do not. they were just the ones who tried to help Trump overthrow the republic. that day, but also all Trump supporters across the country. Bannon even featured a woman who raised money for inmates awaiting trial. “Adopt a ‘One-Sixer’,” he said.
The Monday afternoon episode, however, with Bannon free without having to pay bail, saw an aggressive attack on the House Committee on January 6 and the prosecution against him. “A kind of active day,” he said following a video of his comments to reporters after the court hearing. “We won’t just sit there and take punches. Let’s move on to the attack “.
The new federal indictment against Bannon is the second in two years. Bannon was arrested and charged with fraud for raising money for a privately funded wall along the southern US border, but then hijacked more than $ 1 million for himself. Trump pardoned him for that charge in the closing hours of his presidency, but this time the former president is unable to help Bannon.
Additionally, the House’s willingness to despise witnesses who challenge subpoena and the Department of Justice’s willingness to seek criminal charges against them could help persuade others to consider this option not to accept it.
“Nobody is above the law,” select committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) And Vice President Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) Said in a joint statement last week. “We will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to get the information we need.”
Bannon’s next court appearance is set for Thursday, when he is expected to be sued before Trump-appointed United States District Judge Carl J. Nichols.