by George Rasley
If Steve Bannon can be indicted for “contempt of Congress,” and the approval rate for Congress at about 21 percent, the Biden Justice Department should probably just go ahead and indict the other 270 million Americans who also have contempt for Congress. The specious indictment of our friend Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress is just another demonstration that Democrats consider the process to be part of the punishment and are using it to harass and bankrupt another conservative enemy.
Bannon, to his credit, is having none of it and has decided to fight back in the court of public opinion as well as in the court of law.
Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein of POLITICO report the Justice Department on Sunday night accused Steve Bannon’s defense team of lodging “frivolous” legal complaints in order to cause a public dust-up with prosecutors as he battles criminal charges for attempting to thwart the House’s Jan. 6 select committee.
In a 10-page filing, reported by Messrs. Cheney and Gerstein, prosecutors said an attorney for Bannon, Evan Corcoran, had repeatedly rebuffed their efforts to negotiate an evidence-sharing agreement, a standard part of the process in criminal trials. Instead, the prosecution said, Bannon’s defense used a public court filing Wednesday — and a statement to the Washington Post — to complain about the case.
“The defense’s misleading claims, failure to confer, unexplained wholesale opposition, and extrajudicial statements make clear the defense’s real purpose: to abuse criminal discovery to try this case in the media rather than in court,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn wrote.
Bannon has made clear he intends to use his court proceedings as a forum to put the actions of Democratic leaders and Biden’s DOJ under public scrutiny.
“I’m telling you right now, this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden,” Bannon told journalists just outside a courthouse entrance after his initial court hearing earlier this month.
“Joe Biden ordered Merrick Garland to prosecute me from the White House lawn when he got off Marine One, and we’re going to go on the offense. We’re tired of playing defense. We’re going to go on the offense on this,” Bannon declared.
And after reviewing the filings in the case we find Biden Department of Justice’s position to completely disingenuous. As Steve Bannon’s attorneys explained in a motion:
The Government’s motion was accompanied by a four-page proposed order. (Doc. 9-1). The expansive proposed order would go far beyond the rule cited in its motion – Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(3)(E)(i) (authorizing disclosure of a grand jury matter). The proposed order would extend not only to grand jury testimony, but also to “[a]ll materials, provided by the United States in preparation for, or in connection with, any stage of this case.” (Doc. 9-1 at ¶ 2). Under the proposed order, defense counsel would be tasked with elaborate prohibitions on copying, notetaking, and retention of “[a]ll materials.” (Id. at ¶¶ 4-6)
But the Government’s proposed order goes far beyond its burdensome and restrictive procedures that would apply to “[a]ll materials.” The proposed order would give the Government sweeping authority to designate certain materials as “Sensitive Materials.” (Doc. 9-1 at ¶ 8) Once materials are “stamped” by the Government as “Sensitive” their use would be severely restricted under the proposed order. For example, unless the defense provided prior notice to the Government and received authorization from the Court, we could only share “Sensitive Materials” with “the defendant, defense counsel, persons employed to assist the defense, or the person to whom the sensitive information solely and directly pertains.” (Doc. 9-1 at ¶ 9) Thus, for instance, under the proposed order defense counsel would not be permitted to share a document marked “Sensitive” in interviewing some potential witnesses in the case, absent prior notice to the Government and authorization from the Court.
What the Biden DOJ and the Democrats running the January 6 Select Committee want is to set things up so that only they can leak information to the press in order to set the narrative and taint the jury pool against Mr. Bannon.
And we’ve seen this scenario countless times before, the leaks in the cases against General Mike Flynn, Roger Stone and the leaks during the Adam Schiff-run impeachment of former President Trump being only three of the more salient examples.
And Schiff and the corrupt cabal behind the prosecution of Steve Bannon have much to worry about should the documents in this case become public.
As Kay Smythe reported for The National Pulse, the January 6 Select Committee has already been caught fabricating evidence against one Trump associate, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
Kerik and his lawyers from the Parlatore Law Group received a letter from the committee, citing “credible evidence” that he was involved in a meeting at the Willard Hotel on Jan. 5th.
The “evidence” used by the committee was quickly debunked as tollbooth records proved that Kerik was 300 miles away from the Willard on Jan. 5th.
Prior to entering his plea of not guilty, Bannon stated that his case would be fought publicly on behalf of every American who “likes freedom of speech and liberty,
“Not just Trump people and not just conservatives – every progressive, every liberal in this country that likes freedom of speech and liberty should be fighting for this case. That’s why I’m here today: for everybody. I’m never going to back down.”
Americans should see this effort on the part of the government for what it is: A vicious and anti-Constitutional effort to give government prosecutors the power to shift public opinion against Steve Bannon. If the government is allowed to routinely use such a strategy, then the power in every criminal case shifts further in the prosecution’s favor and no defendant will have access to an untainted jury pool and a fair trial.
- Steve Bannon
- Donald Trump
- Contempt off Congress
- January 6 Commission
- Liz Cheney
- Department of Justice
- Merrick Garland
- Joe Biden administration
- Right to a fair trial
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George Rasley reports for Conservative HQ.
Photo “Steve Bannon” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.