(Video Credit: The Hill)
The Department of Justice is accusing former Trump advisor Steve Bannon of filing “misleading” and “frivolous” complaints in an effort to transform the Jan. 6 investigation and his trial for contempt into a media circus.
On Nov. 17, Bannon pleaded not guilty to two counts of contempt of Congress after not agreeing to testify or turn over documents in a subpoena filed by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol protest.
Merrick Garland’s DOJ is pushing to block Bannon from sharing documents he receives before his trial takes place. Prosecutors contend that some of the documents must remain private while the case is pending. Meanwhile, Bannon is doing his level best to convince a judge not to bar him and his attorneys from releasing the documents, according to CNN.
The prosecutors in Bannon’s case, Amanda Vaughn, J.P. Cooney, and Molly Gaston, claim that the records contain internal communications between a number of congressional staffers, as well as notes of the FBI’s interviews with witnesses who could testify against him, according to Politico.
Justice Dept wants federal judge to ensure a "protective order" over sensitive materials & evidence in Bannon's case, to prevent Bannon from trying the case "in the media', prevent "witness tampering" and prevent turning case into ….. the misdemeanor from "hell" pic.twitter.com/rBGDf2d8bD
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) November 29, 2021
“The misleading and frivolous nature of the defendant’s claims of prejudice demonstrate that they are just a cover for the real reason the defendant opposes a protective order in this case and which he and his counsel have expressed in their extrajudicial statements — that the defendant wishes to have trial through the press,” Vaughn asserted.
The DOJ seems to be incensed that Bannon is speaking publicly about the case after he said the charges would be “hell” on the Biden administration.
“I’m telling you right now, this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden,” Bannon proclaimed to journalists outside a D.C. courthouse earlier this month following his first appearance in court.
(Video Credit: CNN)
“Joe Biden ordered Merrick Garland to prosecute me from the White House lawn when he got off Marine One, and we’re going to go on the offense,” he declared. “We’re tired of playing defense. We’re going to go on the offense on this.”
The prosecution, in turn, is claiming in its filing that allowing Bannon to “publicly disseminate reports of witness statements will have the collateral effect of witness tampering because it will expose witnesses to public commentary on their potential testimony before trial and allow a witness to review summaries of other witnesses’ statements recounting the same event or events.”
They also asserted that Bannon’s attorneys have not participated in good-faith negotiations on a confidentiality agreement, which the judge wanted to occur.
“The defense’s misleading claims, failure to confer, unexplained wholesale opposition, and extrajudicial statements make clear the defense’s real purpose: to abuse criminal discovery to try this case in the media rather than in court,” the prosecution charged.
Instead, Bannon’s attorneys, led by Evan Corcoran, made a public court filing last week. They issued a statement to The Washington Post regarding the case as well.
Bannon will also reportedly be represented by David Schoen, who defended Trump during his second impeachment. He is one of more than 30 individuals who have been ordered to testify over the Jan. 6 protest by the House Select Committee.
Bannon’s daughter said that her father was being persecuted to distract Americans from the failings of the Biden administration.
“I think this is a political witch hunt,” Maureen Bannon angrily told the War Room.
“I think that this regime is deflecting on crisis after crisis after crisis that’s hitting the White House. So they’re going after my dad to make it seem like there’s nothing bad going on,” she said.
Many believe the DOJ is attempting to criminalize Bannon’s free speech.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 13, 2021
Both sides are due back in court on Dec. 7 to discuss a trial date and confidentiality issues.
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