The Biden Department of Justice filed a motion Friday requesting that the judge overseeing former Trump adviser and campaign manager Steve Bannon’s case reject his demand for his criminal contempt trial to be delayed. They also accused the embattled conservative of trying to pull a fast one on the court.
As previously reported, last Wednesday Bannon’s attorneys filed a motion arguing that the currently scheduled trial date, July 18th, would mean a tainted jury because of the ongoing Jan. 6th hearings.
“It would be impossible to guarantee Mr. Bannon a fair trial in the middle of much-publicized Select Committee hearings which purport to broadcast investigative ‘findings’ on topics that are referenced in the Indictment,” they wrote.
“Under the circumstances, we believe that it would be erroneous to deny a requested continuance when congressional hearings create prejudicial pretrial publicity – as has been acknowledged by the Government and found to constitute good cause for a trial continuance in another pending case in this district.”
‘Impossible to guarantee a fair trail’: Bannon claims J6 ‘media blitz’ is grounds to delay contempt trial https://t.co/T8IRVAnhsJ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 30, 2022
In a counter-motion filed Friday, the DOJ pushed back on the idea that the ongoing Jan. 6th hearings will taint the jury in Bannon’s case.
“The Defendant’s motion gives the false impression — through general statistics about the volume of viewership of the Committee’s hearings and overall media coverage of the Committee’s hearings — that all of the Committee’s hearings and the attendant media coverage is about him,” DOJ lawyers wrote, according to Insider.
“The truth is just the opposite — the Defendant has barely been mentioned in the Committee’s hearings or the resulting media coverage of them,” they added.
The DOJ lawyers also accused Bannon of trying “to insert language into jury instructions at his upcoming contempt of Congress trial that amount to ‘nullification,'” as reported by Law & Crime.
“Jury nullification refers to the practice of jurors acquitting a defendant, despite believing that person committed the crimes charged. Famous examples include the not guilty verdicts of the so-called Camden 28, the Vietnam War protesters who admittedly broke into a federal building in New Jersey to destroy draft records, and the 19th century juries the refused to convict in cases involving the Fugitive Slave Act,” according to the legal blog.
“Nullification is frequently invoked in the context of refusal to convict on unjust laws. Prosecutors noted that courts have found arguments and instructions aimed at nullification to be improper. In Bannon’s case, prosecutors argued that the defense’s proposed jury instructions effectively—even if not explicitly—provided legal excuses for his decision to allegedly flout the Jan. 6 Committee’s subpoenas.”
In other words, they accused him of trying to pull a face one on the court.
Bannon faces a trial thanks to a federal grand jury indictment from last November. The indictment came after he refused to acquiesce to a subpoena from the Jan. 6th committee.
He subsequently pleaded “not guilty” and must now go to trial.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 15, 2021
Bannon last made major headlines after Republican Mayra Flores’ historic victory in Texas. After he arrived at a district courthouse in D.C. on Wednesday for a hearing on his motion to dismiss the contempt indictment, he briefly spoke with the press about what her victory means for the GOP going forward.
“MAGA is on the March. The J6 committee is totally irrelevant. Their ratings stink. … We are on the rise democratically. We’re going to win at the ballot box and we’re going to have a blowout. We’re going to have a 100-seat pickup this November. … We’re winning everywhere. We’re going to get 55 to 60 percent of the Hispanic vote this November. We’re going to get 50 percent of the African-American male vote this November. We’re going to have a blowout win,” he said.
“We’re going to win 80 to 100 seat pickup in the House of Representatives. We’re going to win the Senate. We’re going to win school boards. We’re going to throw out these Soros-backed DAs. We’re going to win state legislatures. We’re going to win all the secretaries of states that are running. We’re going to win the governorships. We’re going to win the state legislatures. This is going to be a massive blowout like 1932. You’re witnessing right now a political realignment like 1932. And we will govern for 100 years after we win 100 seats.”
Regarding his attempt to get the contempt indictment dismissed, it ultimately went by the wayside.
“Judge Carl Nichols of the DC District Court rejected Bannon’s motion to dismiss the case against him, including his arguments that the House select committee’s subpoenas were illegal and that he was protected by the secrecy of the presidency because he had been in contact with Trump at the end of his administration,” CNN reported later on the same day that Bannon spoke with the press.
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