A new angle I just considered:

Bannon’s trial is in DC – the political center of the universe. He knows the entire thing is bunk and bogus. He knows the purpose of this case in making an example of himself.

If they wanted to punish him, the prosecutors already introduced into evidence the executive privilege argument. By his refusal to fight, Bannon robs them of the spectacle that they wanted. It also robs the committee of any new Intel they could use to “make their point”, but most importantly:

If the committee wants ANY more information out of Bannon, the head of the snake in their eyes, they MUST allow him to speak in front of the committee, in front of cameras, all in PRIME TIME, just as the other witnesses.

The committee has no vehicle to force his testimony behind closed doors if Bannon isn’t found in contempt. They also have a vehicle to get his testimony, free of any executive privilege, and likely first-hand accounts by finding him in contempt. The only problem is that all of the information will be divulged publicly too, and they know it.

The jury either has to convict Bannon knowing an appeal would vacate the finding, or acquit him and simply live to fight another day. Either way, the committee is in a position to, yet again, take incoming damage to its credibility.

The prospect of convicting Bannon and him becoming anything other than a martyr is preposterous. The fallout of his testimony would be the same irregardless.

The prospect of Bannon being acquitted is admittedly low UNLESS this entire thing is purely politics – in which case their sham investigation is likely complete and everyone attached to it will be scrambling to make up the political capital ahead of midterms.