Despite 180 on Testifying, Bannon Trial Still Starts Monday

Judge refuses to delay it
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 12, 2022 1:21 AM CDT
Updated Jul 12, 2022 5:14 AM CDT
Despite Offer to Testify, Bannon Trial Still Starts Monday
Steve Bannon's attorney, David Schoen, arrives at the Federal Courthouse for a hearing for Bannon on Monday, July 11, 2022, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

A federal judge on Monday declined to delay the upcoming trial of Steve Bannon, a one-time adviser to former President Trump who faces contempt of Congress charges after refusing for months to cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Bannon is still scheduled to go on trial next week despite telling the House committee late Saturday that he is now prepared to testify, the AP reports. It's unclear whether Bannon will again decline to appear before the committee with the trial pending. Barring an appeals court ruling or another delay, the trial will begin as the committee continues its high-profile hearings into the riot. Testimony by former White House aides has revealed new allegations that Trump knew the crowd was heavily armed and that he tried to join the people marching to the Capitol.

Bannon was also barred from asserting several potential defenses or calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or members of the House committee to the stand. The series of rulings by US District Judge Carl Nichols left one of his attorneys complaining that the former White House senior official, now host of the “Bannon's War Room” podcast, wouldn't be able to defend himself at all. Nichols also barred Bannon's attorneys from arguing that the committee violated House rules in demanding Bannon's appearance or that Bannon defied the subpoena on the advice of his defense counsel or at Trump's order. Bannon did not appear in court Monday. Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Bannon attorney David Schoen hinted he would appeal.

Nichols also declined to delay the trial from its current start on July 18, saying any concerns about pretrial publicity due to the hearings could be addressed during jury selection. If it proves impossible to pick an unbiased jury, the judge said he would reconsider granting a delay. Bannon could potentially argue he thought the deadline to respond to the subpoena may not have been “operative" or that the date to respond could have been moved, said Nichols, who was nominated to the bench by Trump. Federal prosecutors argued Monday that Bannon's new offer to appear, which came after Trump issued a letter saying he would waive any claim of executive privilege for Bannon so he could testify, wouldn't change any criminal offense committed by not appearing earlier.

(More Steve Bannon stories.)

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