UPDATED 9:45 AM PT – Friday, July 22, 2022
“I stand with Trump and the Constitution. Thank you very much.”
— Steve Bannon
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon reaffirmed his innocence on charges of ignoring a subpoena issued by the January 6 Committee. Attorneys representing Bannon concluded his defense on Thursday and made a motion for the presiding judge to acquit their client before jury deliberation begins.
Bannon attorney Evan Corcoran had originally requested a direct acquittal, arguing the Department of Justice failed to present an adequate case against his client. Attorney David Schoen echoed these sentiments while claiming Bannon’s legal team was in active negotiations with the so-called select committee rather than ignoring their summon.
“He told them from the very first letter he would comply if they go before a judge and the judge orders him, no orders that the executive privilege wasn’t valid,” said Schoen. “As simple as that. He’s not someone who thought he was above the law ever. He’s not someone who ignored a subpoena at all times and communicated with them.”
Bannon himself reiterated he had previously been bound to silence by former President Donald Trump’s executive privilege and has cooperated with authorities in multiple other manners. He also took the time to call out the panel’s chair, Bennie Thompson.
During the trial, the defense called no witnesses and introduced no new evidence. This came after the judge ruled their arguments on executive privilege or the political bias of the January 6 Committee would not be heard.
The jury will return on Friday to hear closing arguments and begin deliberations. If convicted on the two misdemeanor counts of contempt of court, Bannon may face between 30 days to one-year in prison.