Steve Bannon’s ‘eleventh-hour’ reversal on Jan. 6 testimony is a stunt, DOJ says


Steve Bannon, advisor to former President Donald Trump, departs the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on June 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Win Mcnamee | Getty Pictures

WASHINGTON – One week forward of jury choice in Steve Bannon‘s contempt of Congress trial, the Justice Division mentioned the Trump affiliate’s purported want to reverse his stance and testify earlier than the Home Jan. 6 committee is nothing greater than a “last-ditch try to keep away from accountability.”

Bannon, citing a letter over the weekend from former President Donald Trump, said via a lawyer that he could be keen to testify earlier than the Home committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault. Bannon spent months blowing off the committee, claiming that Trump was asserting government privilege even supposing Bannon solely labored on the White Home for seven months again in 2017, three years earlier than the Jan. 6 assault.

However the Justice Division said in a new filing that Trump legal professional Justin Clark confirmed in an FBI interview that Trump “by no means invoked government privilege over any specific info or supplies; that the previous president’s counsel by no means requested or was requested to attend the defendant’s deposition earlier than the choose committee; that the defendant’s legal professional misrepresented to the committee what the previous president’s counsel had informed the defendant’s legal professional; and that the previous president’s counsel made clear to the defendant’s legal professional that the letter supplied no foundation for whole noncompliance.”

The Justice Division sought to forestall Bannon and his attorneys from telling a jury that he was now keen to testify.

“The defendant’s final minute efforts to testify, virtually 9 months after his default — he has nonetheless made no effort to supply data — are irrelevant as to whether he willfully refused to conform in October 2021 with the choose committee’s subpoena,” the Justice Division argued. “Any proof or argument regarding his eleventh-hour efforts ought to, due to this fact, be excluded at trial.”

“The defendant’s purported want to testify now doesn’t erase his previous contempt,” the DOJ submitting added.

The Justice Division mentioned that Bannon’s “continued failure to adjust to the subpoena’s doc demand whereas claiming he now will testify suggests his actions are little greater than an try to vary the optics of his contempt on the eve of trial, not an precise effort at compliance.”

Bannon, who was due in court docket on Monday at 10 a.m. for pretrial arguments, didn’t instantly return NBC Information’ request for touch upon the DOJ submitting. His authorized crew is searching for to delay his trial till October.

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