Trump’s lawyer spoke to FBI, court filing says

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols’ rulings came after documents filed in court overnight showed the FBI interviewed Trump’s attorney two weeks ago. Federal prosecutors’ disclosure in filings could significantly shape the Justice Department’s sprawling investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Riot.
In his June 29 interview, the attorney, Justin Clark, contradicted Bannon’s claim that the former president claimed executive privilege over particular information or documents, which Bannon cited as an excuse for Avoid testifying before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.

Bannon told the committee on Saturday that he was now willing to testify, ideally at a public hearing, according to a letter obtained by CNN. He previously defied a congressional subpoena and is expected to stand trial for criminal contempt later this month. The reversal came after receiving a letter from Trump waiving executive privilege, though the House Select Committee and federal prosecutors argue the privilege claim never gave Bannon carte blanche to ignore a subpoena. of Congress in the first place.

According to prosecutors, “Bannon’s attorney misrepresented to the Committee what the former president’s attorney told the defendant’s attorney.”

In October, Bannon’s attorneys told the House Select Committee that Clark informed them that Trump would exercise executive privilege over Bannon and “directed Mr. Bannon not to produce any documents or testify until the matter of the executive privilege would not be resolved”.

Prosecutors previously cited emails from Clark telling Bannon’s attorney, Robert Costello, that the letter Costello cited to the committee did not, in fact, indicate that the White House believed Bannon could claim executive privilege.

“Counsel for the former president made it clear to counsel for the defendant that the letter provided no basis for complete non-compliance,” prosecutors wrote in Monday’s filing.

The Jan. 6 committee was interested in speaking to Bannon about his communications with Trump in December 2020, when Bannon allegedly urged him to focus on the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results. Committee members were also interested in Bannon’s comments in the run-up to the Capitol insurrection, including a Jan. 5 podcast in which he predicted, “Hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

In a Monday court filing, federal prosecutors called Bannon’s willingness to now testify before the House Select Committee a “last minute” effort that doesn’t change the case against him, pointing out that he did not produce subpoena records.

“The defendant’s last-minute efforts to testify nearly nine months after his default – he still made no effort to produce documents – are irrelevant to whether he deliberately refused to comply in October 2021 to the special committee subpoena,” prosecutors wrote.

“The criminal contempt law is not intended to secure compliance; it is intended to punish past non-compliance,” prosecutors said.

This story and headline were updated with additional developments on Monday.


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