Trump ally Steve Bannon was indicted on a criminal contempt charge Friday after he defied a congressional subpoena, and CNN legal analyst Elie Honig said that it was a long overdue and necessary development.
While discussing Bannon's indictment, which could put him in jail for up to one year, Honig laid out the stakes about the need for Bannon to face legal repercussions for his defiance.
"This is going to be so significant for Congress's oversight power, the power of the January 6th committee to meaningfully enforce its subpoenas," he said. "If Merrick Garland had decided not to charge Steve Bannon, it would have just been game on for anybody who wanted to defy the subpoenas."
With Bannon's indictment, Honig said, the equation has now changed.
"Now the message sent here is if you defy the subpoenas, there will be consequences," he explained. "You can be charged with a crime and DOJ has backed that up right now."
Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, after refusing to meet with the House Select Committee on Friday, may also soon face criminal contempt charges if he refuses to comply.
Watch the video below.
>> @ElieHonig: "The Justice Department has not charged anyone with criminal contempt of congress in 38 years, since 1983."pic.twitter.com/eknLMQohAg— Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter) 1636750836