The now 68-year-old man, a virulent critic of the political establishment, is closely associated with the ideas of the extreme right which he pushed, thanks to Donald Trump, to the pinnacle of federal power.

Easily recognizable by his salt-and-pepper mane — which has recently turned white — he is being prosecuted for “obstructing the investigative prerogatives of Congress”. He is accused of having knowingly ignored the summons of the parliamentary commission which seeks to establish the responsibilities of the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The day before that day having shaken American democracy, Mr. Bannon had predicted an onslaught of “all hell”. He mainly spoke on the phone with Mr. Trump, a sign that he had kept the ear of the Republican president long after the latter had removed him from the West Wing.

If other proof of the links between the two men were needed, we could cite the decision of the tenant of the White House, just before his departure, to pardon his former collaborator, in another case. Mr Bannon was accused of embezzling funds allegedly intended for the construction of a wall on the Mexican border.

It was in the months leading up to Mr. Trump’s election victory in 2016 that Mr. Bannon began to make his mark, in populist denunciation of a world order controlled by political and financial elites.

Ideas he defended by directing the controversial Breitbart news site, a hub of the “alternative right”, a movement associated with certain conspiratorial theses and comprising a number of militants convinced of the superiority of the white race.

Steve Bannon’s entry into the White House in early 2017 was denounced by anti-racist associations, who recalled the countless inflammatory articles published on Breitbart, bordering on anti-Semitism, fueling nostalgia for the Confederate flag or denouncing multiculturalism. .

“The racist and fascist far right is represented on the threshold of the Oval Office,” tweeted John Weaver, close to moderate Republican John Kasich.

Other Democrats had cited accusations by Steve Bannon’s ex-wife, Mary Louise Piccard, that her ex-husband had refused to send their children to a certain school because of the presence of Jews. Charges he denied.

“I’m not a white supremacist, I’m a nationalist, I’m an economic nationalist,” Steve Bannon said in a first interview at the White House.

Over the months in power, “President Bannon”, as the influential adviser was nicknamed, seemed to have moments of favor or disgrace, obtaining support neither from the media he described of “opposition party”, nor among the “elites” he promised to shake up.

Her relationship with Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was notoriously bad.

He was forced from the executive in August 2017 in the wake of violence in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, during a rally of radical right activists.

– Finance and cinema –

Born in Norfolk, in the same state, Mr. Bannon explains that he grew up in a working-class Democratic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family. His studies completed, he joined the navy for several years as a young officer.

Steve Bannon was then an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in the 1980s. He then founded a small investment bank, Bannon

In the 2000s, he began to produce political films, on Ronald Reagan, the Tea Party or Sarah Palin.

He met at that time Andrew Breitbart, founder of the eponymous site, and joined the Tea Party’s war against the American political establishment, both Democratic and Republican.

In recent years Steve Bannon has broadened his horizons and shown vigorous support for nationalist or far-right parties in Asia, Latin America and particularly in Europe, where he notably met Marine Le Pen.

And, according to a press article, the activist has a portrait of himself dressed as Napoleon, donated by the Europhobic Briton Nigel Farage.