Bannon is one of more than 30 people close to Trump who have been ordered by the House committee to testify about the run-up to January 6 when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

Steve Bannon, a prominent figure in right-wing media circles, was an architect of Trump's 2016 presidential victory.
Steve Bannon, a prominent figure in right-wing media circles, was an architect of Trump's 2016 presidential victory. (Reuters)

Former president Donald Trump's longtime adviser Steve Bannon has surrendered to the FBI on criminal charges arising from his defiance of a congressional inquiry into the deadly January 6 US Capitol attack.

"This is all noise", Bannon told a throng of journalists as he arrived at an FBI field office in the US capital on Monday.

"I want you guys to stay focused on the message," he said, promoting his "War Room" website. "We're taking down the Biden regime."

A federal grand jury on Friday indicted Bannon on one count of contempt of Congress for refusing to appear for a deposition before the US House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the attack and a second contempt count for refusing to produce documents.

The indictment says Bannon didn’t communicate with the committee in any way from the time he received the subpoena on September 24 until October 7 when his lawyer sent a letter, seven hours after the documents were due.

Bannon, who worked at the White House at the beginning of the Trump administration and currently serves as host of the conspiracy-minded “War Room” podcast, is a private citizen who “refused to appear to give testimony as required by a subpoena,” the indictment says.

Bannon is the first person to face criminal charges in the congressional investigation and faces up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000

He is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court later on Monday before Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather.

READ MORE: Trump adviser Bannon indicted for contempt of Congress

Stonewalling over Capitol attack

Bannon is one of more than 30 people close to Trump who have been ordered by the House committee to testify about the run-up to January 6, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a failed attempt to prevent formal congressional certification of Trump's election loss to Biden.

Trump has sought to stonewall the committee, which is scrutinising his actions relating to the riot, and directed his former associates not to cooperate. 

In defying his subpoena, Bannon cited Trump's insistence – already rejected by one judge – that he has a right to keep the requested material confidential under a legal doctrine called executive privilege.

House investigators hope the charges against Bannon will motivate other witnesses including former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to testify.

READ MORE: US House holds Trump ally Bannon in contempt for defying summons

READ MORE: US President Biden rejects bid by Trump to withhold January 6 documents

Source: Reuters