(PresidentialInsider.com)- Steve Bannon’s arguments to avoid contempt of Congress charges are “seriously flawed,” House attorneys said in a court filing defending the Justice Department’s case against the former Trump aide.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi submitted a 26-page brief Tuesday in response to Bannon’s request to dismiss contempt charges stemming from his refusal to cooperate with a subpoena from the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Pelosi said that anyone might be arrested. As the House’s amicus brief clarifies, Steve Bannon’s subpoena is legal, required, and must be enforced. Bannon is a significant witness to the January 6th Insurrection and contains information vital to the House’s attempts to safeguard American democracy.
In November, a grand jury charged Bannon with contempt of Congress after the House reported him to the Justice Department. Bannon has asked a federal court to dismiss the accusations against him, claiming the House committee’s subpoena was illegal.
Bannon stated the committee’s composition invalidated the subpoena, and he was “targeted to send a message to other prospective deponents.”
House attorneys highlighted in court documents that three courts had rejected identical challenges to the committee’s subpoenas. House attorneys rebutted Bannon’s allegations that the committee lacked a legitimate reason to summon him.
House attorneys stated Bannon was key to the January 6 Capitol attack. He had a crucial role in developing and engaging in the “Stop The Theft” PR campaign that spurred the attack. He planned additional acts before January 6 that interested the Select Committee.
House attorneys cited Bannon’s public remarks before January 6, in which he predicted and urged “unprecedented and violent events.” Bannon declared the country faced a “constitutional catastrophe” a day before a pro-Trump mob invaded the Capitol.
Bannon said on his podcast- “Man, if I was in a revolution, I would be in Washington. This is your time in history.”
It’s unclear why the House brief hasn’t been filed in Bannon’s case. The brief was designed to buttress the case against Bannon’s last-ditch bid to have the criminal contempt charges dismissed by a federal court.
Bannon’s attorneys have also claimed that he can’t cooperate with the subpoena because Trump invoked executive privilege in the January 6 probe. Bannon’s defense team said Trump gave him a “clear command” to “completely obey the invocation of executive privilege.”
“It would be fundamentally unjust and a blatant breach of due process to allow this case to proceed,” his defense team stated. “It must go.”
Legal experts reject Bannon’s executive privilege claims, pointing out that he was years removed from his involvement in the Trump administration when a mob of Trump supporters assaulted the Capitol.
The lawsuit against Bannon was assigned in November to Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee approved in 2019. In April, Nichols reluctantly concluded that Bannon could not say at trial that he was just following his lawyer’s instructions in ignoring the House committee investigating January 6.