Federal prosecutors on Friday requested a choose to not dismiss a contempt of Congress case towards Steve Bannon, a former senior adviser to then-President Donald Trump. The case is linked to a subpoena issued by the Choose Committee to Examine the January sixth Assault on america Capitol.
In essence, Bannon is charged with refusing to each (1) hand over paperwork (or, in lieu of the paperwork themselves, a log which asserts privilege over sure paperwork in his possession) and (2) seem for a deposition earlier than the Jan. sixth Committee.
Bannon moved on April 15 to dismiss the indictment towards him. That 62-page submitting launched a four-pronged assault on the case.
Bannon first argued that the subpoena directed towards him was not lawfully issued as a result of, partly, the Committee was not correctly put collectively by Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Particularly, Bannon stated Pelosi didn’t seat Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Rodney Davis (R-Sick.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), and Troy Nehls (R-Texas) on the Committee and thereby violated Home guidelines.
Bannon argued additional that the Jan. sixth Committee’s determination to refer his refusal to sit down, speak, and supply paperwork to the U.S. Division of Justice violated notions of due course of; that the statute used to prosecute him (2 U.S.C. § 192) is unconstitutional as utilized to him; and that “prosecutorial over-reaching requires dismissal” of the matter — together with as a result of, per Bannon, the feds misled the grand jury that indicted him.
Federal prosecutors on Friday rubbished these arguments by way of a competing 48-page opposition movement. It argues that Bannon was being subpoenaed “as a non-public occasion in 2020-21” and “not in his capability as a White Home advisor in 2017.”
“The Defendant contends that the Indictment ought to be dismissed,” the federal prosecutors famous. “His principal grievance is that his complete noncompliance with the subpoena is excused by government privilege and prior Division of Justice writings and opinions. Not so.”
Arguing that Bannon was “ignor[ing] the easy information of this case,” the DOJ stated “that neither the present nor former President asserted government privilege in a fashion in step with or permitting the Defendant to have interaction in complete noncompliance.”
Slightly, the DOJ, citing its personal “writings and opinions” from the previous, forged Bannon as merely “a non-public occasion subpoenaed to testify and supply paperwork to Congress about occasions that occurred lengthy after he left the federal government.”
The federal government continued:
The Defendant’s remaining challenges to the Indictment—that 2 U.S.C. § 192 is unconstitutional as-applied, that the Committee exceeded its authority in issuing the subpoena, and that the prosecution group dedicated misconduct—are additionally meritless. The courts have utilized Part 192 to contemnors for over 100 years with out issue; the Defendant waived procedural objections to the subpoena by failing to lift them with the Choose Committee, which acted effectively inside its legislative authority; and the prosecution didn’t commit misconduct or in any other case overreach in investigating and prosecuting the Defendant’s default. The Defendant’s movement to dismiss ought to be denied.
“The Defendant is a non-public citizen who, for about seven months in 2017, labored within the White Home as an advisor to former President Donald J. Trump,” the DOJ stated whereas pointing to Bannon’s transient precise tenure in authorities.
The DOJ additionally extra completely sought to hogwash Bannon’s claims of government privilege by pointing squarely again to Trump’s personal phrases and actions.
“The Defendant repeatedly asserts in his briefing that there was an invocation of government privilege by former President Trump that allowed the Defendant to disregard the Committee’s subpoena fully,” the doc asserts. “However the Defendant doesn’t establish when the privilege was invoked, the way it was invoked, or over what info it was invoked, nor does he clarify why it allowed him to legally default. In truth, there isn’t a proof that the previous President ever invoked government privilege over the supplies and data sought by the Committee’s subpoena in a fashion calling for complete noncompliance.”
“Accordingly, the Courtroom doesn’t want to think about whether or not any invocation validly allowed the Defendant’s complete default, as a result of the Defendant has didn’t reveal that there was, actually, any such assertion of privilege within the first place,” it continues. “The Defendant’s claims for dismissal primarily based on government privilege should be rejected.”
The one proof of a doable privilege declare, the DOJ stated, had been “communications [Bannon] obtained from the previous President’s counsel, Justin Clark.” And people, the DOJ argued, weren’t legally adequate to say safety: “Regardless of the validity of an assertion by the previous President could be, nonetheless, Mr. Clark’s correspondence by no means explicitly assertd government privilege, by no means claimed that any such privilege utilized to all doubtlessly responsive data, and by no means directed the Defendant to refuse to look for a deposition.”
The DOJ expounded:
To make his government privilege objections to the Committee, the Defendant relied on a letter he obtained from Mr. Clark on October 6, 2021, at some point earlier than the subpoena’s doc deadline. The letter didn’t assert government privilege over everything of the data topic to the Committee’s subpoena or state that the Defendant ought to delay compliance or refuse to conform in any approach. As an alternative, the letter indicated, at most, the likelihood that the previous President would assert privilege sooner or later . . . [i]ndeed, in reporting the letter to the Committee, the Defendant acknowledged that it represented solely an “intention” to say government privilege at some future time.
In different phrases, per the Committee and accordingly per the DOJ, Bannon both wants handy over the fabric or be prosecuted.
Each Bannon’s movement to dismiss and the federal government’s reply are under:
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.]
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