Steve Bannon Trial Begins: Live Updates

Steve Bannon appears in federal court in Washington, DC on Tuesday. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Steve Bannon is on trial on two criminal charges for his failure to comply with the House’s January 6, 2021 investigation 10 months after he received subpoenas from the select committee.

Proceedings began Monday with jury selection at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC. Twenty-two potential jurors have been found, and the 12 who make up the jury and two alternates will be selected on Tuesday morning. Opening arguments will begin shortly thereafter.

Remember: The case is a major test of the leverage Congress has when a witness evades a House subpoena. Bannon is the first of two similar House Select Committee subpoena cases to go to trial; a contempt case against former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is still in its early stages.

The prosecutors promise that their case against Bannon will be presented succinctly, in just a few days, with only two or three prosecution witnesses. This list includes investigators from House committees.

It’s unclear what the extent of Bannon’s defense will be, or if he’ll want to speak up in his own defense. He will not be able to force members of the House to testify, the judge said.

At the start of the case, Bannon vowed to make the proceedings “the crime of hell for (Attorney General) Merrick Garland, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and (Speaker) Joe Biden.” But at a recent court hearing, his defense attorney, David Schoen, complained, “What’s the point of going to trial here if there’s no defense?

Bannon – who accepted an 11-hour pardon from Trump in 2021 as he faced conspiracy wire fraud and money laundering charges in Manhattan federal court related to a fundraising scheme for the border wall – has made a series of attempts in court in recent days to stop the lawsuit, to further shape a defense or to prepare for possible appeals.

So far, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols has overwhelmingly sided with the Justice Department on what evidence the jury can hear, preventing Bannon from trying to defer to the advice his attorney gave him or to use internal DOJ policies on the presidential advisers he hoped could protect him.

Bannon’s ability to raise arguments about executive privilege will be, at best, severely limited. Bannon was not a government official during the period studied by the committee.

Learn more here.


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