Steve Bannon Suffers Stinging Legal Setbacks One Week Before His Trial

nu2u

HR Legend
Aug 10, 2006
15,444
18,035
113
US District Court Judge Carl Nichols dealt Bannon a series of adverse rulings in a pre-trial hearing Monday. Bannon faces two charges of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas issued by the committee investigating the 1/6 attack on the US Capitol.

To get a feel for how bad this turned out for Bannon, at the conclusion of the hearing his attorney questioned the judges rulings by saying

"what's the point in going to trial here if there are no defenses?"

The Court:
  • threw out Bannon's claim of executive priviege, his main defense, ruling that DOJ internal opinions are not applicable to this case and he cannot claim that he relied upon them; and further, that he is prohibited from asserting that he believed Trump had exerted executive privilege over his testimony.
  • ruled that prosecutors only need to prove that Bannon's non-compliance was deliberate and intentional; they do not need to prove that he knew it was "wrong".
  • ruled that Bannon cannot question witnesses about their political affiiation.
  • said Bannon cannot present a "public authority" defense because Trump was not a federal official when the subpoena was issued.
  • ruled that Bannon cannot introduce "selective prosecution" evidence i.e. that Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino defied congressional subpoenas and have not been criminally charged,
  • said that Nancy Pelosi cannot be subpoenaed by the defense or called to tesify.
  • ruled against Bannon's motion to delay the trial scheduled to begin July 18th.
Its a big win for the government and the J6C. At his arraignment earlier this year Bannon promised war and claimed that these charges would be the "misdemeanors from Hell" saying further that he would put Biden and Pelosi on trial.

.....also, it is probably worth mentioning that Nichols was apppointed to the D.C. bench by Donald Trump.
 
Last edited:

millah_22

HR Legend
Jun 15, 2004
34,554
48,098
113
Omaha
giphy.gif
 

nu2u

HR Legend
Aug 10, 2006
15,444
18,035
113
Why?,.. What exactly does the government or January 6th committee get out of this beyond personal satisfaction?
I'll start with the obvious. Its a big win for the government because they have the burden of proving that Bannon committed the crimes charged. The judge just decided that an array of defenses and evidentiary motions that Bannon wanted to assert at trial will not be available to him.

Therefore, the prosecution will not have to counter argue legal defenses to the charges before the jury - a development that makes their case much easier to prove and a conviction more likely (as insinuated by the defense attorney's complaint). I've never met a prosecutor who didn't believe that they were fighting for justice. Its a win for justice..

The decision also re-affirmed the boundries of executive privilege and the J6C"s decision to seek a criminal contempt conviction for non-compliance. The Court's decision bolstors the Committee's pronouncements that Trump officials would not be able to avoid consequences by hiding behind an EP claim. It establishes a marker and sends a message. Peter Navarro' will not be happy with this decision. Future witnesses might want to think twice about blowing off a J6C subpoena.
 
Last edited:

nu2u

HR Legend
Aug 10, 2006
15,444
18,035
113
Update: following Judge Nichols' adverse ruling on Monday, Bannon on Wednesday renewed hs motion to delay his contempt trial arguing that J6C committee hearings and a scheduled CNN special this weekend would bias potential jurors against him.

The judge disagreed. Jury selection begins next Monday in D.C.
 

runkpanole

HR Legend
Nov 17, 2002
17,208
28,545
113
Why?,.. What exactly does the government or January 6th committee get out of this beyond personal satisfaction?
Well, contempt of Congress carries possible jail time and up to a $100K penalty. Not enough for covering up for Donald, but it still is a federal conviction.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CarolinaHawkeye