Steve Bannon Contempt Trial Set To Begin

Jury selection in the contempt trial for former White House strategist Steve Bannon begins Monday, where he faces contempt charges for defying a Jan. 6 committee subpoena after asserting executive privileges, AP reports.

Steve Bannon Contempt Trial Set To Begin

Bannon has told the Jan. 6 committee to pound sand after defying a subpoena to obtain his records and testimony - the same thing Obama AG Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress for in relation to the "fast & furious" scandal in 2012 - except with no trial or consequences.

Bannon is charged in Washington’s federal court with defying a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee that sought his records and testimony. He was indicted in November on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, one month after the Justice Department received a congressional referral. Each count carries a minimum of 30 days of jail and as long as a year behind bars.

The trial follows a flurry of activity in the case since July 9. Over a week ago, the former White House strategist notified the committee that he is now willing to testify. His lawyer, Robert Costello, said the change was because Trump has waived his executive privilege claim from preventing the testimony. -AP

The 68-year-old Bannon has argued that his testimony and records are protected by former President Trump's claim of executive privilege - which he's repeatedly invoked to block witnesses testimony as well as the release of White House documents.

Notably, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson - prior to her appointment to the USSC, blocked Trump's efforts to stop the National Archives from cooperating with the J6 committee, noting in part that "Presidents are not kings."

The J6 committee has fought Bannon's claims of executive privilege, noting that Trump fired him from the White House in 2017, making him a private citizen when he was consulting with Trump leading up to the riot.

Biased jury?

Last week, US District Judge Carl Nichols declined Bannon's motions to delay the trial after his lawyers suggested that a CNN report that has since aired about their client - as well as prejudicial comments made during a J6 committee meeting, may introduce bias.

"I am cognizant of current concerns about publicity and bias and whether we can seat a jury that is going to be appropriate and fair, but as I said before, I believe the appropriate course is to go through the voir dire process," said Nichols on Thursday, referring to concerns over jury selection, and adding that he intends to seat a jury that is "going to be appropriate, fair and unbiased."

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