Judge Rules Bannon’s Contempt Trial Must Proceed Despite His Offer to Appear Before J6 Committee – Opinion

We brought you this morning the story about how Steve Bannon, a former Trump adviser, agreed to testify before the Jan 6 Committee over the weekend despite having refused to do so since October. After former President Trump had written his own letter informing him of his decision, he wrote Saturday to inform the Committee.

Bannon’s offer is too late for Justice Department. They want to pursue his criminal contempt charges against Congress for his refusal to appear before the committee. They claimed that his offer to appear was a “last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability” in their overnight filing. “The Defendant’s purported desire to testify now does not erase his past contempt,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly P. Gaston and Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda R. Vaughn.

Trump-appointed federal judge agreed to Monday morning that trial must continue on the scheduled date of July 18. “I see no reason for extending this case any longer,” said Judge Carl Nichols at the end of a hearing.

Bannon had requested a delay for the trial due to the “media blitz” created by the Committee’s televised hearings, but Nichols argued that jury selection would solve that problem:

While I am certainly cognizant of Mr. Bannon’s concerns regarding publicity, in my view the correct mechanism at this time for addressing that concern is through the [jury selection] process.

Bannon will be facing two contempt of court charges. Each one could result in a sentence up to 1 year and a fine of at least $100,000.

First, I want to know where these people were when Eric Holder, Obama’s Attorney General, was found in contempt with Congress in 2012. A federal judge refused to charge him, ruling that the contempt motion was “entirely unnecessary.” Double-standard anyone?

AP Photo/Bill Haber

Bannon’s situation deteriorated when the Judge issued several disfavored rulings to his defense. This article was taken from Business Insider

Nichols denied the request for delay and gave the Justice Department wins on almost all pre-trial disagreements with Bannon. At the House’s request, he quashed Bannon’s subpoena seeking records and testimony from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the January 6 committee.

Nichols also reduced potential defenses against Bannon. He challenged the composition of House January 6, and argued that the Justice Department was violating its own policies by prosecuting it. The judge had previously ruled that Bannon could not argue he was relying on the advice of counsel in refusing to sit for questioning or turn over subpoenaed records.

RedState’s criticism of the hearings on January 6, I covered in an earlier article about Bannon.

RedState has been heavily critical of the committee because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi broke long-standing custom in refusing to allow the five Republicans chosen by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to serve, and instead put rabid anti-Trumpers Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger as the only GOPers on the committee. The committee, which is overwhelmingly partisan and unbalanced in nature, also lacks defense witnesses or cross-examination. For instance, the committee’s “bombshell” Cassidy Hutchinson testimony has been heavily questioned, since the panel has so far been unwilling or unable to supply corroborating witnesses. To put it bluntly, the whole thing’s a joke.

The Left continues to flex its partisan muscle, with an able assist from Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice and the J6 Committee. This entire sham seems like an abuse or power, no matter how much you love Steve Bannon.

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