Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist in the Trump administration, appears in court Monday after being indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress in November 2021, according to NPR.
In September 2021, four former members of the Trump administration were subpoenaed by the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee investigating the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Among those subpoenaed were Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, Dan Scavino, former deputy chief of staff, and Bannon, according to Reuters.
Bannon’s indictment in November charged him with contempt due to his alleged “refusal to appear for a deposition” and his “refusal to produce documents,” per the Department of Justice press release. “Each count of contempt of Congress carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a fine of $100 to $100,000,” according to the DOJ.
The trial will proceed as scheduled though Bannon’s team attempted to delay it, claiming the former president “invoked executive privilege to shield the conversations from congressional inquiry,” according to The Washington Post. On June 29, the court filed a motion addressing this and other arguments given by the defendant. It detailed that former President Donald Trump’s attorney confirmed “the former president never invoked executive privilege over any particular information or materials.”
Insider reports that Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, has prevented Bannon’s lawyers from presenting a number of arguments, including the executive privilege argument, making the case against Bannon “devastatingly straightforward.” The only likely defense Bannon’s team has left is that the former Trump adviser believed the dates given to him were flexible, though he has not yet presented any documents in the original subpoena.
With the jury selection in progress, Bannon’s attorneys are questioning the potential members on how much of the Jan. 6 hearings they’ve watched to rule out some bias due to the publicity of the House committee’s proceedings, per The Associated Press.