Steve Bannon, the bombastic former Trump adviser and right-wing media host, made the most of his day in court on Monday. While his actual appearance in the face of contempt charges for defying a congressional subpoena was largely uneventful, as Bannon will not be arraigned until Thursday, the defendant seemed to relish the media circus awaiting him.

“This is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden,” Bannon said while speaking to reporters outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C. He went on to accuse the president of using his attorney general to carry out a political hit job against him, adding, “We’re tired of playing defense, we’re going to go on the offense.… You should understand, Nancy Pelosi is taking on Donald Trump and Steve Bannon––she ought to ask Hillary Clinton how that turned out for them… They took on the wrong guy.” 

The House voted last month to hold Bannon in criminal contempt, putting pressure on Garland, the attorney general, to act. Bannon was indicted Friday on two counts of contempt of Congress, both for refusing to testify before the House select committee probing the January 6 insurrection and for failing to provide documents. Attorney David Schoen, who is representing Bannon (and previously represented Donald Trump during his second impeachment) has stated his client’s conversations with the former president are covered by executive privilege. Bannon will not be detained in the lead up to the trial, but he did give up his passport. He cannot travel outside of D.C. without providing advanced notice, and he agreed to weekly check-ins.

The Monday afternoon court appearance followed Bannon surrendering earlier in the day to authorities at an FBI field office. In another dramatic move, Bannon appeared on a livestream for his podcast War Room moments before doing so. “I don’t want anybody to take their eye off the ball,” Bannon said in his remarks, which streamed on the right-wing social media platform Gettr. “We got the Hispanics going on our side, African Americans coming on our side. We’re taking down the Biden regime.” Bannon concluded by putting content above everything, as he plugged some of the upcoming guests who will appear on his show, and urging his viewers, “I want you guys to stay focused, stay on message. Remember, signal not noise. This is all noise, not signal.” Aside from Bannon’s own antics, crowds featuring a giant inflatable rat resembling Trump and a man with a sign that read “coup plotter” were spotted near the defendant throughout the day.

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