Steve Bannon is to appear in court on two criminal charges for failing to comply with the House investigation dated January 6, 2021, 10 months after receiving subpoenas from the select committee.
The proceedings began Monday with jury selection at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC. Twenty-two potential jurors have been found and the 12 who make up the jury and two alternates will be selected on Tuesday morning. Opening statements will begin shortly after.
To remind: The case is an important test of Congressional influence when a witness evades a House subpoena. Bannon’s is the first of two similar subpoena cases from the House select committee to go to trial; a contempt case against former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is still in its early stages.
Prosecutors promise that their case against Bannon will be presented succinctly, in just a few days, with only two or three witnesses to the prosecution. That list includes House Committee investigators.
It is not known how extensive Bannon’s defense will be, or whether he will take the stand in defense of his own defense. He will not be able to force House members to testify, the judge said.
Early in the case, Bannon vowed to make the proceedings a “crime from hell for (Attorney General) Merrick Garland, (Chairman) Nancy Pelosi and (President) Joe Biden.” But at a recent court hearing, his attorney David Schoen complained, “What’s the point of going to trial here if there’s no defense?”
Bannon — who accepted an 11-hour pardon from Trump in 2021 because he faced conspiracy fraud and money laundering in Manhattan federal court in connection with a border wall fundraiser — has made a series of attempts in court over the past few days to reverse the process. , to form more of a defense, or to prepare for possible appeal.
So far, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols has overwhelmingly sided with the Justice Department over evidence the jury can hear, leaving Bannon unable to attempt to defer his attorney’s advice or internal DOJ policy. to use for presidential advisers he hoped to protect him.
Bannon’s ability to make arguments about executive privilege will be severely limited at best. Bannon was not a government official during the period the commission is investigating.
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