Steve Bannon contempt trial to go on after judge refuses month-long delay

The federal judge in charge of the Steve Bannon contempt trial has refused his request to delay it by one month as the parties argued over whether letters between Bannon and the January 6 committee should be admitted into evidence.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols finally said the letters could be entered, but that they could possibly be redacted so that the jury could not see all of them.

Nichols said he might delay the start of the trial by one day in order to resolve the issue.

Jury selection is still being completed, and opening arguments are expected to begin next week.

Executive privilege waived

Bannon had refused to testify before the January 6 House committee, claiming executive privilege on behalf of former President Donald Trump.

Trump waived the privilege earlier this month so that Bannon could testify.

Bannon said on July 11 that he would be willing to talk to the committee, even as his trial was getting underway, but the DOJ said it is skeptical of Bannon’s intentions and wants the trial to go forward.

Legal experts had said that only a current president can invoke executive privilege, and that Trump’s claims of privilege are moot now that he is out of office.

Trojan horse?

Bannon’s “sudden wish to testify is not a genuine effort to meet his obligations but a last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability,” the DOJ said in its filing.

“The only thing that has really changed since he refused to comply with the subpoena in October 2021 is that he is finally about to face the consequences of his decision to default,” it continued.

The Justice Department seems worried that Bannon’s request to speak to the committee in public could be a “Trojan horse” for him to contradict other testimony and “blow up the investigation.”

The last thing they want is for someone to expose their lies and their carefully crafted narrative, even though most voters don’t really believe it or care anymore anyway.

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