Steve Bannon’s legal team is closing its case on Thursday after the former adviser to Donald Trump refused to testify in his own defense for criminal contempt of congressional charges.
As he left a Washington, D.C. court on a summer afternoon, Bannon told reporters he had testified more than any other Trump aide considering the time spent talking to investigators who looked into Russia’s potential ties to the Trump 2016 campaign and efforts to influence the election. .
He parted ways with the press with the message: “One last thing: I support Trump and the Constitution.”
Bannon’s attorneys called no witnesses on his behalf, and District Judge Carl Nichols dismissed the 14 men and women who make up the jury shortly thereafter.
A female juror was fired due to a non-contagious medical condition, according to The Washington Post.
That means Friday will bring closing arguments, jury instructions and deliberations – and potentially a quick verdict.
He had previously vowed to make his criminal trial the “misdemeanor from hell” for the Justice Department.
“Of anyone in the Trump administration, Stephen K. Bannon testified, what, 30 hours before the Mueller commission, I think 20 hours before Schiff at the House Intelligence Committee – House Intelligence Committee,” said Bannon told reporters Thursday.
Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former adviser, hit out at reporters after he refused to speak up in his own defense against contempt of Congress charges
Bannon pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal contempt. He was charged with failing to comply with a House committee subpoena on Jan. 6
Closing arguments will take place on Friday, followed by jury deliberations – meaning what Bannon promised would be ‘misdemeanor hell’ for the government to conclude after a five-day trial
“I think over 50 hours of testimony. Every time, in exactly the same way…every time, every time, more than anyone in the Trump administration…Stephen K. Bannon testified.
Attorney David Schoen told Nichols that no defenses would be presented to the jury after the jury spent two days hearing from House Jan. 6 Committee General Counsel Kristin Amerling and an agent from the FBI.
“You don’t intend to present evidence to the jury?” Nichols asked, according to the Daily Beast.
Schoen replied, “Correct”. We are not presenting a defense case.
The right-wing activist and podcast host is on trial on two counts of criminal contempt because he defied the committee’s fall 2021 subpoena.
Lawmakers wanted documents from Bannon and to hear about Trump’s alleged efforts to stay in power despite losing the 2020 presidential election.
The two witnesses for the prosecution testified that Bannon did not turn over the requested documents or hand over the requested documents.
Bannon’s attorneys have tried to pin them down on who exactly was responsible for sending his subpoena in an apparent effort to indict President Rep. Bennie Thompson of political motivations.
Evan Corcoran, another member of Bannon’s legal team, had asked the jury during his opening argument: “Is this evidence affected by politics?
It comes after Bannon abruptly reversed course and offered to sit in a public hearing before the committee
His attorneys claimed that this did not represent a change of heart, but rather the result of Trump waiving executive privilege over Bannon’s testimony.
And the defense insisted that Bannon never deliberately ignored the subpoena.
After appearing to ignore the Jan. 6 committee order for 10 months, Bannon abruptly reversed course earlier this month and offered to sit in a public hearing via a letter from his attorney.
He cited a message from Trump in which the ex-president waived the executive privilege he had previously claimed over Bannon’s testimony.
But prosecutors dismissed Trump’s letter outright as an attempt to deflect blame.
Nichols gave Bannon’s defense a potential boost on Wednesday when he allowed the executive’s letter of privilege to be entered into evidence.
It came after the judge shot down several of Bannon’s potential defenses last week and denied his request to delay the trial, prompting his exasperated lawyers to question what point there was in presenting a defense.
Bannon was present at the Willard Hotel on the night of January 5-6, when Trump allies formed a “war room” to develop a legal strategy to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory on the following day.
It is believed he spoke personally with Trump by phone that night.