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Bannon trial: the defense does not present any witnesses, indictments Friday

A jury is due to hear closing arguments on Friday in the trial of former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon, who faces two counts of contempt of Congress for allegedly refusing to comply with a subpoena regarding the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

That means the 12-member jury could begin deliberating Bannon’s fate on Friday, after only about a day and a half of testimony. The government called only two witnesses in the highly publicized trial. Bannon, who as the trial approached had sworn to go “to the Middle Ages” with his enemies, called none. Bannon’s legal team argued that they should have been allowed to call the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), but U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols didn’t allow it.

Nichols is weighing a defense motion challenging whether prosecutors have met their burden of proof, as well as defense arguments that Thompson’s testimony is critical to their case.

Before sending the jury home on Thursday, the judge said a woman on the panel had to withdraw from the service due to a medical problem, although he sought to reassure jurors that he would not it wasn’t about covid or anything else contagious. This juror will be replaced by one of the two alternates. Without mentioning the prime-time congressional hearing scheduled for Thursday evening around Jan. 6, the judge also reminded jurors to avoid news reports about the Capitol attack, as he did throughout the trial. .

Do you remember who said what in the January 6 hearings so far? Answer our questionnaire.

Bannon did not testify at trial. Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse on Thursday afternoon, he said the real issue in the case was not the extent of his cooperation with the January 6 committee, but whether the committee was willing to negotiate with him.

In the past, Bannon said, he’s given “I think, 50 hours of testimony, every time in exactly the same way,” before investigations by a special counsel and the House and Senate Intelligence Committee. , with an attorney present claiming executive privilege at times over communications involving then-President Donald Trump.

“We worked on it and every time, and every time, more than anyone in the Trump administration…Stephen K. Bannon testified,” Bannon said.

Unlike the Jan. 6 House inquiry, however, these inquiries took place while Trump was president and covered conversations Bannon had while he was in the White House before he left in 2017.

In issuing a subpoena to Bannon, the Jan. 6 committee said it wanted to question him about activities at the Willard Hotel the day before the Capitol riot, when Trump supporters sought to persuade lawmakers to overturn the 2020 election results.

The committee said Bannon spoke with Trump by phone that morning and evening, the last time after Bannon predicted “all hell is going to break loose” on Jan. 6.


Washington

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