OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Steve Bannon is on trial for two counts of contempt of Congress for not answering a subpoena from the US House Committee on Jan. 6th. His trial started Monday, and already, events are progressing in a different direction than many court watchers had expected- but fans of Bannon’s are likely not surprised that the top firebrand of the MAGA movement has the court scrambling, as Bannon goes ‘full Irish’ on the process.
Bannon, a former top advisor to President Donald J. Trump, has been in the spotlight for years, igniting a Populist movement in the United States which helped catapult Trump into the White House. Bannon is the host of the wildly popular War Room show and podcast on Real America’s Voice, where he constantly talks about the illegitimacy of Democrat Joe Biden being in the White House.
Bannon is enemy #1 of the Biden administration- so it is no doubt that Bannon’s show trial is political.
“Bannon’s defense tells federal court his January 6 contempt of Congress charge was purely political and prosecutors say Trump advisor thinks he’s ‘above the law’ as his trial begins,” independent media reported on Tuesday after Day 2 of the trail.
Bannon’s attorney Evan Corcoran argued he did not ignore the subpoena; he is being accused of evading, but rather Bannon’s team was still in negotiations with the Jan. 6 committee, which was a surprise to many people.
The critical point to remember is that the US House does not even have the power to issue criminal charges in the first place.
“No one ignored the subpoena,” Corcoran said. . “It’s called negotiation, it’s called accommodation … that’s not an excuse”.
‘It wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a decision. It was a choice,’ US Attorney Vaughn said. ‘He just decided not to follow the rules’
“Corcoran argued the case was born out of a politically charged Congress. ‘Politics is the lifeblood of the House of Representatives,’ Corcoran said. The House in October voted to hold Bannon in contempt and refer the matter to the Justice Department in a 229-202 vote, mostly along party lines,” The Daily Mail reported.
So the Justice Department chose to push the charges- proving again that the trial was political.
Corcoran asked the jurors to consider: ‘My single request for you is to think about it and ask yourself: Is this piece of evidence affected by politics?’
Turning back to the subpoena, Corcoran pointed to communications between the select committee’s chief counsel, Kristin Amerling, and Bannon’s lawyer Robert Costello.
‘The evidence will show direct engagement between the committee staff member and Bannon’s attorney, Corcoran said.
The prosecutor told jurors they would see a series of letters by the committee rejecting Bannon’s claim that former President Trump had invoked executive privilege, which barred him from cooperating with the committee, warning him that he could be criminally prosecuted if he missed the Oct. 18, 2021 deadline.
“This case is pure politics, Viva Frei, an attorney following the details of the case- said in his post-trial day podcast. And now we know why Bannon was so fired up.
Bannon talked to the media after then trial day, saying:
“It’s very simple. Bennie Thompson sent a staffer over here. Where is Bennie Thompson? So Supneas Thompson is hiding behind his phony privileges. He subpoenaed people and is dodging them,” Bannon said, slamming Thompson.
“He is too gutless to come over here himself! He made it a crime. Made it a crime, not a simple charge of wanting my testimony, but a crime,” Bannon said.
“Then he didn’t have the courage or guts to show up and take the stand. He sent a staffer and she said that the committee’s work is to get the full and complete- the full and complete review of what happened on January 6th and the lead-up to it,” he said. .”So I challenged Bennie Thompson today to have the courage to come to this courthouse if he is going to charge somebody with a crime. He’s got to be man enough to show up here or send somebody like Shifty shift or Fake Banks Swalwell,” Bannon laid out in a smackdown.
“It is outrageous and for them to sit there and try to get a complete hearing and they won’t bring in any testimony. Any testimony that FBI involvement, any testimony?”
“Without any testimony about any other involvement with the FBI or the DHS? This then told the complete illegitimacy of Joe Biden.”
“Trump won, Joe Biden’s illegitimate, and 50 percent of the American people believe that today.”
“We have a constitutional crisis in this nation right now and they charge me with a crime, have the guts to show up here and say exactly why it’s a crime. Then you Thompson is a total absolute disgrace in this show trial.”
Bannon went FULL IRISH outside the Courthouse today and torched EVERYBODY pic.twitter.com/dLYr2fSQ2W
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 20, 2022