With the House Select committee officially announcing their decision to move forward with criminal contempt for Steve Bannon, the next step is for the committee to hold a business meeting on Oct. 19, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the committee, said.
“Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President’s insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke,” Thompson said in the statement. “We reject his position entirely.”
The business meeting is the first step to proceed with criminal contempt. In this meeting, the committee would move to adopt a contempt report, which outlines the efforts the committee made to get a witness to comply with the subpoena and the failure by the witness to do so.
What would need to happen next: This report is then referred to the House for a vote. If the vote succeeds, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi certifies the report to the US attorney for the District of Columbia. Under law, this certification then requires the US attorney to “bring the matter before the grand jury for its action.”
Any individual who is found liable for contempt of Congress is then guilty of a crime that may result in a fine and between one and 12 months in prison. But this process is rarely invoked, and rarely leads to jail time.