Jury begins deliberating in Steve Bannon’s Jan. 6 contempt of Congress trial
On Friday, a jury began debating the fate of Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Donald Trump, who faces two charges of contempt of Congress to annul the Jan. 6 select committee.
If convicted, Bannon will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in prison and up to one year behind bars. He can also be fined between $100 and $100,000.
“This case is not complicated, but it is important,” Assistant US Attorney Molly Gaston told the jury during closing arguments Friday.
Gaston argued that Bannon “did not want to recognize the power of Congress” or play by the government’s rules.
The Department of Justice has attempted to simplify this case, by telling jurors that Bannon did not turn over documents and testify before the January 6 panel when asked to do so in October 2021 because he believed “above the law“The prosecution called two witnesses — a January 6 commission employee and an FBI special agent — and rest Their case is on Wednesday.
Bannon team to reject to file a defense Thursday, but he made it clear that they plan to appeal if he is found guilty. In closing arguments, Bannon’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, questioned whether the committee’s subpoenas had actually been signed by committee chair Benny Thompson and raised what he called a “serious question” about a witness’s participation in a book club.
Judge Carl Nichols Repeatedly to reject delay Bannon’s trial despite the defense team’s claim that the public hearings of the Jan. 6 panel would affect the jury and their claim that Bannon was barred from testifying because of Trump. Alleged claims of executive privilege. The jury was sitting Tuesday morning.
In the shutdown, the government said Congress had good reason to investigate what happened during the January 6 attack, and how such an attack might be prevented in the future.
“Our government only works if people show up. It only works if people stick to the rules, and it only works if people are held accountable while they don’t,” Gaston said.
Gaston said the subpoena was uncomplicated and Bannon chose not to cooperate. Bannon was martyred Quote from the Daily Mail After issuing subpoenas.
“I support Trump and the Constitution,” Bannon told the Daily Mail.
Gaston told the jurors that the contempt of Congress laws were strict for some reason and that Bannon knew his claim for executive privilege had been denied.
“His belief that he has a good excuse for not complying doesn’t matter,” Gannon said. “The accused chose loyalty to Donald Trump over compliance with the law.”
Gaston said Bannon “was in contempt of Congress” and that the name of the crime attributed to him tells you everything you need to know. She added that the only person who made this case political is the accused.
“There is nothing political about knowing why January 6 happened, and how to make sure it never happens again,” Gaston said.
Bannon’s attorney Evan Corcoran, concluding his speech, told jurors they need to put January 6th off their minds when discussing this case.
Bannon’s defense team explained that they are creating a registry so they can appeal any conviction to the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Corcoran attempted to cast doubt on whether the subpoena that Deputy Committee Chairman Benny Thompson signed on January 6 had actually been signed by Thompson, comparing his signature on the document to other versions of his signature. The government objected, and after all sides discussed the matter with the judge, Corcoran scrambled to move on.
Corcoran said that the commission’s chief of staff who Witnessed To the jury he made Steve Bannon an example because he had a popular podcast and because he was a former Trump adviser.
Corcoran also brought up the fact that the commission employee and Gaston knew each other vaguely from a book club, even though it was clear in court that they didn’t have a close personal relationship and hadn’t met in years.
“Make no mistake, I am not against book clubs,” he told the jury. But he insisted while keeping his face straight, “It’s a serious question.”
Corcoran also recently introduced message of President Trump regarding executive privilege, although the committee told Bannon’s attorney that the alleged privilege claim was not an excuse not to appear to testify. In fact, several senior Trump White House officials have testified before the committee and Steve Bannon has not served in the White House since 2017.
“Prosecutors are basically saying you don’t have a choice, but you do,” Corcoran told jurors.
On appeal, the government told the jurors they shouldn’t wonder what they were missing in the case. “You don’t miss anything. It’s not hard. It’s not difficult. There were two witnesses because it seems simple,” Assistant US Attorney Amanda Vaughn said. “How clear is this subpoena?”
Vaughn said Bannon “yelled at her from the top of the mountain” that he was not complying with subpoenas.
“Bannon believes that his power as one man is greater than ours, which we have all agreed to,” Vaughn said.
“That’s the definition of contempt,” Vaughn told the jurors.