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Bannon Defenses Rejected, Contempt Trial Set For Monday

A federal judge rejected nearly all of Steve Bannon’s defenses against a charge that he criminally defied a subpoena from the Jan. 6 House select committee, leaving the longtime Donald Trump ally with few options to fight the contempt of Congress case against him, Politico reports. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols denied Bannon’s request to postpone for three months the jury trial set to open next Monday, rejecting arguments that a delay was warranted due to intense media coverage around the ongoing House hearings on the Capitol siege. Bannon’s attorneys said Trump’s move to abandon executive privilege claims for Bannon should also cause a delay. The Trump-appointed judge said thorough questioning of potential jurors probably will avoid potential prejudice. Nichols spent nearly an hour Monday issuing oral rulings that left the defense case in tatters. .The judge’s orders seem to ensure that a high-profile trial will move forward at a rapid clip. The Justice Department has estimated it could put on the prosecution case in a single day. Nichols cut off nearly every all of Bannon’s proposed defenses, ruling them irrelevant to the alleged crime against him. The judge picked apart Bannon’s claim that his decision to stonewall the select committee was justified due to his position as a former White House adviser or because of Justice Department memos describing limitations on congressional subpoenas.


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