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Trump’s ex-assistant Bannon acted as if ‘above the law’: accusations

Steve Bannon speaks to the press on his way out of the federal court in Washington, DC.

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  • Former Trump aide Steve Bannon said he was “above the law” when he defied a lawsuit to testify before lawmakers investigating the 2021 Capitol attack.
  • Bannon’s lawyers had sought to delay the start of the trial, but U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols rejected the proposal.
  • Evan Corcoran, Bannon’s lawyer, denied that his client had ignored the subpoena, saying the date was “the subject of ongoing discussions”.

Former Trump aide Steve Bannon said he was “above the law” when he defied a lawsuit to testify before lawmakers investigating the 2021 Capitol attack, a U.S. prosecutor said Tuesday as arguments began in his federal trial for contempt for Congress.

Bannon, who led Donald Trump’s successful presidential election campaign in 2016, was among dozens of people summoned by a House of Representatives committee to testify about Trump supporters’ storms of Congress on January 6, 2021.

The 68-year-old did not show up on the date of the subpoena or provide requested documents related to the attack and events leading up to it, and was indicted on two charges of contempt.

“The defendant decided he was above the law,” prosecutor Amanda Vaughn said in her opening statement to the panel of 12 jurors and two deputies selected Tuesday at a Washington courthouse. “And that’s why we’re here today.”

She said:

He ignored orders to comply, even after Congress rejected his apologies for not doing so, and he set aside several warnings that he could be prosecuted.

Bannon’s lawyer Evan Corcoran denied that his client had ignored the lawsuit, saying the date was “the subject of ongoing discussions and negotiations” and “flexible”, noting that this was typical procedure for the House committee.

According to the panel, Bannon spoke with Trump the day before thousands of former president’s supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to block the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

They had been indicted by Trump in a fire speech near the White House, in which he reiterated his false allegations of election fraud.

Corcoran said the decision to hold Bannon in contempt was politically motivated, saying “politics is the lifeblood of the U.S. House of Representatives,” and it “invades any decision they make.”

Vaughn said the committee had reason to believe that Bannon and other Trump advisers could have information about links between the White House and the troublemakers.

After refusing to testify for several months, Bannon finally agreed this month to cooperate with the House investigation, a move that prosecutors previously said was a “final attempt to avoid accountability.”

Bannon’s lawyers had sought to delay the start of the trial, but U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols rejected the proposal.

Prosecutors called their first witness, the committee’s deputy chief of staff and chief attorney Kristin Amerling, near the end of the session.

Bannon, who served as Trump’s White House Chief of Staff before being fired in 2017, could serve 30 days to a year in prison for each of the two charges if convicted of what is expected to be a speedy trial. .


Trump’s ex-assistant Bannon acted as if ‘above the law’: accusations

Source link Trump’s ex-assistant Bannon acted as if ‘above the law’: accusations

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