Republicans vow retribution following indictment of Trump co-conspirator Steve Bannon

Following the indictment last Friday of fascist Steve Bannon, arch co-conspirator in former president Donald Trump’s January 6 coup attempt, leading congressional Republicans have voiced their support for Bannon, and by extension Trump’s coup. They have threatened to seek “politically-motivated indictments” against Democratic lawmakers and political appointees should they retake the House of Representatives following the 2022 mid-term elections.

President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon leaves federal court, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, after pleading not guilty to charges that he ripped off donors to an online fundraising scheme to build a southern border wall. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Bannon, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and former editor of the far-right Breitbart website, was indicted by last Friday for criminal contempt of Congress after refusing to submit documentation or appear for deposition before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 coup attempt.

After appearing in a Washington D.C. courtroom Monday to hear the charges read against him, Bannon threatened another coup, declaring, “we are taking the Biden regime.”

Echoing Trump’s command to the Proud Boys militia group during last September’s presidential debate with Biden to “Stand back and stand by,” Bannon added: “If the administrative state wants to take me on, then bring it, we are here to fight this and we are going on offense, you stand by and you are going to see how we are going to go on offense.”

On Wednesday, Bannon filed a letter with the court waiving his right to an arraignment, which was scheduled for Thursday, and he entered a plea of not guilty. Appearing virtually for Thursday's hearing, Bannon’s attorney Evan Corcoran argued against setting a trial date right away, stating that the case presents more “complex constitutional issues.” US District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, rejected delaying the trial until after the New Year, but also did not agree with the prosecution’s request that a trial date needed to be set right away, instead opting to set another hearing for December 7, 2021.

Adhering to the orders disseminated from the would-be Führer Trump, Bannon has refused to cooperate or communicate with the House Select Committee charged with investigating Trump’s January 6 coup, citing Trump’s all-encompassing invocation of “executive privilege.” In reality, Trump himself has never communicated with the committee or spelled out what specific aspects of the documentation and testimony they are requesting would fall under his alleged “executive privilege.”

Instead Trump’s lawyers are arguing that any and all conversations Trump had with anyone—regardless of whether they were government employees at the time, or what crimes they may have been considering, including how to overthrow a duly elected president—are supposedly covered by privilege. The current president, Joe Biden, has already waived privilege on the documents sought by the committee, and as a matter of legal precedent, that outweighs any objections by Trump.

In the same vein as the recent censure vote of fascist Arizona Representative Paul Gosar, far from denouncing Bannon’s violent threats or distancing themselves from the fascist criminal, leading Republican lawmakers, including some who were intimately involved in Trump’s plot to overturn the 2020 election, have issued statements and social media posts and appeared on talk shows to support Bannon.

Bannon’s supporters include Florida “America First” Representative and Trump sycophant Matt Gaetz, who recently offered a job to fascist murderer Kyle Rittenhouse. Gaetz tweeted out a photograph of himself and Bannon last Sunday in front of Air Force One with the hashtag #TeamBannon.

Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert, who tweeted out the morning of January 6, 2021 “Today is 1776,” declared on Twitter last Saturday: “Now that Democrats have started these politically-motivated indictments for Contempt of Congress, I look forward to seeing their reactions when we keep that same energy as we take back the House next year!”

“They’re crossing lines and opening Pandora’s boxes every day in this majority, and it’s hard to close those boxes once they’re open,” warned Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson.

The ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, Kentucky Representative James Comer, said Democrats were setting a “new precedent” by enforcing the subpoena, which would be emulated by Republicans in the near future.

“‘I think they’ve set new precedent for oversight and how you can obtain documents,’ Comer said. ‘The traditional rule [is] you can’t have access to those until five years after the presidency. But they said, “Well, this is an extreme situation, what happened on January 6… What if we think it was an extreme situation what happened with the Afghanistan debacle?’”

Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, an obvious target of the Select Committee given his previous admissions that he spoke with Trump during the day of the attempted coup, came out in defense of Bannon, writing on Twitter: “Joe Biden has evicerated (sic) Executive Privilege.”

Threatening future subpoenas against Democratic politicians, Jordan wrote, “There are a lot of Republicans eager to hear testimony from [White House Chief of Staff] Ron Klain and [National Security Adviser] Jake Sullivan when we take back the House.”

Following the announcement of the indictment last Friday, New York Representative Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican after ousting Select Committee member Liz Cheney (Wyoming) earlier this year, posted on Twitter: “For years, Democrats baselessly (sic) accused President Trump of ‘weaponizing’ the DOJ [Department of Justice]. In reality, it is the Left that has been weaponizing the DOJ the ENTIRE TIME—from the false Russia Hoax to the Soviet-style prosecution of political opponents.”

Bannon speaks for the foulest elements of the ruling class, who are terrified at the prospect of social revolution. He has been given a platform to incite and mobilize the most backward and reactionary forces in decaying capitalist society to uphold this historically bankrupt system.

In a testament to the Republican Party’s wholesale adoption of Trump’s “big lie” and the transformation of the party into a personalist instrument of Trump, the Wyoming Republican Party, in a Saturday meeting of the state party central committee, voted 31-29 to no longer recognize Representative Cheney as a member of the party.

This is the second time the state party has rebuked Cheney, and as a report from the Associated Press notes, “the state party central committee followed votes by local GOP officials in about one-third of Wyoming’s 23 counties to no longer recognize Cheney as a Republican.” The Trump-endorsed primary opponent of Cheney, Harriet Hageman, in an interview with the Casper-Star Tribune, agreed with the committee’s decision, calling it “fitting.”