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Steve Bannon pleads not guilty to contempt of Congress charges

Steve Bannon, who once served as former President Donald Trump's chief political strategist, is pleading not guilty to federal charges for defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Bannon was indicted last week on two counts of contempt of Congress, and made his initial appearance Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C.

In a document filed with the court Wednesday, Bannon waived his right to an arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty. The document is signed by Bannon and one of his attorneys, M. Evan Corcoran.

Bannon is scheduled to appear virtually for a status conference in the case Thursday.

The charges against Bannon stem from his failure to appear for a deposition before the Democratic-led House Jan. 6 committee, as well as his failure to produce documents in response to a subpoena from the panel.

Bannon has claimed he's shielded from testifying by Trump's assertion of executive privilege, even though Bannon had not served in the Trump administration for years when the attack on the Capitol took place.

After his initial court appearance Monday, Bannon vowed to fight the charges against him. He also took aim at the Biden administration.

"I'm telling you right now, this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell, for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden," Bannon told reporters outside the courthouse. "We're tired of playing defense, we're going to go on the offense on this."

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Ryan Lucas covers the Justice Department for NPR.