Trump ally Steve Bannon can be prosecuted in a single day, the DOJ says

  • Federal prosecutors see the Steve Bannon case as “very straightforward” and want a date for the trial soon.
  • The DOJ believes that it will only take a day’s testimony to present the case of contempt to Congress.
  • Bannon’s defense team wants a more protracted pace in the criminal case.

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Federal prosecutors expect they will only need one day to file their case against former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, the Justice Department said Monday in a lawsuit that pushed for Trump allies to be brought to justice soon. criminal contempt for congressional charges.

A federal grand jury last month returned an indictment against Bannon for defying a congressional summons in which he demanded that he testify and hand over documents as part of the House investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol. At an early court hearing, prosecutor Amanda Vaughn described the case as “very straightforward” as Bannon’s defense team resisted pressure from the Justice Department to set a trial date.

In Monday’s filing, prosecutors predicted that their “main case will consist of a day’s testimony.” Bannon’s defense attorneys said their “best estimate” was that the trial would last about 10 days.

Prosecutors also requested that the trial begin no later than April 15. Bannon’s defense team proposed a date six months later, on October 17, claiming that the “average life expectancy for a criminal case” in the District of Columbia’s federal court is about a year.

“In our opinion, this is not the average criminal case on the dossier – because it will take more time to get discovered, and more time to fully address the issues,” Bannon’s defense attorneys said.

The court’s submission further highlighted the gap between Bannon’s defense and prosecutors in the pace of proceedings, in a lawsuit that parliament’s lawmakers hope will deter potential conflicting witnesses from rejecting the select committee investigating the Capitol attack and the build-up to 6 January. came the day before another hearing for Judge Carl Nichols, a 2019 nominee to the federal court in Washington, DC, who was randomly assigned to Bannon’s case.

The Department of Justice had gone decades without bringing a contempt for congressional prosecution. But the department ended the years-long drought with Bannon, who claimed executive privileges even though he had not served in the Trump administration since 2017.

In announcing Bannon’s indictment, Attorney General Merrick Garland stressed that it was not motivated by politics, saying the Department of Justice “adheres to the rule of law, follows the facts and the law, and pursues equal justice under the law.”

Last week, the nine-member committee voted unanimously to recommend charges of contempt for criminal contempt against Jeffrey Clark, a former top-notch Trump at the Department of Justice, for his refusal to cooperate with the investigation. The House committee went ahead with the vote one day after Clark returned, announcing through his attorney that he would invoke his 5th amendment against self-incrimination.

Clark’s 11-hour move has averted, at least for now, a full-house vote to keep him in contempt and refer him to the Justice Department for potential prosecution.

“As with Mr Bannon, the select committee has no desire to be placed in this situation, but Mr Clark has left us no other choice,” the rep said. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the committee on Jan. 6, at a meeting last week. “He chose this path. He knew the consequences he could have if he did.”

Clark was originally scheduled to appear before the committee on Saturday to formally assert his 5th amendment. But the hearing was adjourned until Dec. 16, according to Clark’s attorney told lawmakers his client had a medical condition that precluded his appearance.

Trump, for his part, has repeatedly urged his staff not to comply with the selection committee’s investigation. He also filed a lawsuit to prevent the National Archives from passing on records to the House Committee.

A federal judge rejected Trump’s bid to block the Biden administration from handing over the records. Trump’s lawyers challenged the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for DC, where a panel of three judges seemed equally skeptical of his claim that he could invoke executive privileges after the presidency and override the sitting man’s decision.

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