Ex-Trump strategist, who faces charges of contempt for defying a subpoena by a House committee, has sought to have the trial postponed
Jury selection was expected to begin at 9 am on Monday in federal court in Washington. That process has been a central focus for Mr. Bannon’s legal team, which repeatedly asked to postpone the trial, arguing that publicity around the recent Jan. 6 hearings committees would taint potential jurors.
US District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, declined to delay the trial. The judge said last week that he acknowledged Mr. Bannon’s concerns about possible bias but preferred to address the issue by questioning potential jurors to determine whether they could be fair.
Mr. Bannon worked as a strategist during the beginning of the Trump administration but was not employed by the White House around the time of the 2020 election.
Just over a week ago, Mr. Bannon made a last-minute offer to testify to the Jan. 6 committee, adding he would prefer to do so at a public hearing. Mr. Bannon said he was now willing to testify because Mr. Trump recently waived executive privilege. Prosecutors had disputed Mr. Bannon’s privilege claim.
Prosecutors have argued before the trial’s onset that Mr. Bannon’s lawyers shouldn’t be allowed to present evidence about his recent offer to testify, saying the alleged crime was committed when Mr. Bannon didn’t testify last year. During a pretrial conference last week, Judge Nichols said he would decide that issue at a later point, saying Mr. Bannon’s recent offer to testify might be relevant to his defense.
In a filing Friday, Mr. Bannon again asked the judge to dismiss the charges against him, arguing that his legal team can’t fully defend him because the judge rejected his attempt to subpoena members of the Jan. 6 committee and other lawmakers.
Prosecutors opposed Mr. Bannon’s latest bid to dismiss the case, writing that he “fails to articulate any testimony he seeks from these individuals that is relevant in his trial, much less that would be exculpatory or noncumulative.”
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