As January 6th hearings resume this week, including a primetime hearing Thursday night, Donald Trump needs a way to slow down or derail the testimony train, and the perfect candidate for that is living trash elemental Steve Bannon. Marcy Wheeler on why Bannon, why now:
Back on June 29 (less than two weeks ago), Bannon moved to delay his trial until October, claiming — as many other accused January 6 criminals have — that publicity associated with the January 6 Committee makes it impossible to get a fair trial. It was a reasonable claim for the Proud Boys to make. But thus far, Bannon has no more figured in the hearings than other passing faces in the mob.
Indeed, DOJ mocked Bannon’s claim, noting that he had been mentioned just twice in more than fourteen hours of hearings, one of which was just a description that he had blown off the Committee subpoena.
In fourteen hours of hearings, Bannon merited no more than thirty seconds of attention.
Presciently, DOJ noted that no one but Steve Bannon and his lawyers are talking about Steve Bannon.
Bannon responded on July 6, just four days ago, presenting entirely irrelevant data that counted how many times his name has shown up in the press, then attributing all of that to the Committee, and not his own big mouth.
Then he opened his own big mouth and caused what he claims he’s trying hard to avoid: a press torrent of mostly inaccurate reporting.
Two weeks ago, Steve Bannon needed to be something more than a thirty second man in hopes of delaying his trial. And multiple outlets jumped to do his bidding.
So now Bannon almost certainly will accomplish multiple things if he really does have a deal with the January 6th Committee to testify: a reason to delay his own trial, a voice to attack the credibility of other committee witnesses, a way to fill the news cycle with bullshit to cloud the truth, and a way to get back in Trump's good graces.
Keep in mind this isn't about Bannon's legal fees. Trump isn't paying them, supposedly, but that doesn't mean Bannon doesn't have the money. No, this is about mutual self-interest at the expense of the nation.
A judge said he would not delay the contempt of Congress trial of Steve Bannon on Monday, just one week before it is set to begin.
Bannon was indicted last year for refusing to answer questions from the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Bannon, who had stonewalled the committee since October 2021, had a last-minute change of heart over the weekend, a decision his lawyer attributed to a letter from former President Donald Trump that waived a purported claim of executive privilege. The Justice Department maintains that Bannon's offer to testify was nothing more than a “last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability.”
Trump's own lawyer, Justin Clark, according to the Justice Department, told the FBI that Trump “never invoked executive privilege over any particular information or materials" and offered no basis for Bannon's "total noncompliance" with his subpoena.
Judge Carl Nichols, who previously ruled that Bannon could not argue that he was not guilty because he was relying upon the advice of his lawyer, ruled Monday that Bannon cannot present evidence that he relied upon old opinions from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) regarding executive privilege either.