Prosecution rests its case in Steve Bannon trial after calling 2 witnesses
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday rested from what they argue is an outright contempt of the Congressional case against former Trump adviser Steve Bannon after only two witnesses were called.
The Public Prosecution Ministry of Justice said jurors In their opening statement Tuesday that Bannon I think it wasabove the lawTestimony on Wednesday from a January 6 House Committee senior staff member and FBI special agent, who testified – among other things – about Bannon’s posts on the right-wing social networking site GETTR.
Kristen Amerling, deputy personnel director and general counsel for the January 6 committee, told jurors that the House committee understood “Mr Bannon had been in contact with the president in the weeks leading up to the events of January 6 and we wanted to understand what he could tell us about the relationship between any of these events.” .
She testified that the committee determined that the filing of the executive privilege claims “was not a valid reason to refuse to comply” with a congressional subpoena.
Under questioning from Bannon’s attorney Evan Corcoran, Amerling said she had never testified in contempt of a Congressional trial before, but noted that it was only because it’s very rare for people to challenge a congressional committee like Bannon.
“It is unusual for witnesses receiving a subpoena to say they will not comply, so there have been no occasions on which I have participated to be a witness in criminal contempt proceedings,” she said.
When FBI Special Agent Stephen Hart took the stage, Assistant Attorney General Molly Gaston asked him about the posts on the Bannon GETTR page from September and October of 2021. The September post was a link to Rolling Stone’s article on Bannon’s subpoena and the October topic was one link to a newspaper article The Daily Mail on Bannon telling the Jan. 6 commission that he would not comply with the subpoena.
The insinuation from prosecutors was that Bannon was not engaging in a bona fide discussion about executive privilege, but instead was screwing up the commission.
Upon questioning, Hart was asked if he’d say the posts were Bannon’s words. He said it was the words of either Bannon or someone with access to his account.
Gaston Hart also asked about a virtual meeting with Bannon’s attorney Robert Costello and federal prosecutors that the FBI agent attended. Gaston asked if Costello had suggested during the meeting that the dates in the subpoena had been changed.
Hart replied, “No.”
“Has he indicated that the defendant missed the deadlines?” Gaston asked. “Did he indicate that he was negotiating a different date?”
Hart answered “No” to both questions.
Corcoran suggested on Tuesday that the dates for the two subpoenas — one for documents and one for testimony — are subject to negotiation.
The judge presiding over the trial, Trump-appointed US District Judge Carl Nichols, said the defense was largely limited to presenting any evidence showing that Bannon believed he was involved in ongoing negotiations with the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack. and that the deadlines for the summons were “flexible”.
The defense will present its arguments on Thursday before the two sides present closing arguments and the jury begins deliberations. In the meantime, the committee is scheduled to convene January 6 Prime time hearing on Thursday.