The judge again denied Bannon’s bid to delay his trial next week

The judge again denied Bannon’s bid to delay his trial next week

A federal judge on Thursday again denied a request by Steve Bannon to delay his criminal contempt trial, saying he was confident a fair and impartial jury could be seated despite extensive media coverage of the onetime adviser to former President Donald Trump.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols earlier in the week rejected a bid by Bannon’s lawyers to delay his trial, which is set to begin Monday with jury selection. He made a similar ruling Thursday, brushing aside concerns from Bannon’s lawyers about a CNN report that aired on the eve of the trial and what they said were prejudicial remarks during a House committee hearing investigating the Capitol riots this week. 6, 2021.

“I’m aware of the current concerns about publicity and bias and whether we can put together a jury that’s going to be competent and fair, but as I’ve said before, I believe the appropriate course is to go through the terrible process of apprehension,” Nichols said, before being selected. Referring to the questioning of individual judges. “And I have every intention of getting a jury that is competent, fair and impartial.”

If that doesn’t happen, he said, the court will simply start the process.

Bannon is accused in federal court in Washington of defying a January 6 committee subpoena seeking his records and testimony. Bannon was indicted in November on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, a month after the Justice Department received the congressional referral. Each count carries a minimum of 30 days in jail and up to one year behind bars.

He previously argued that his testimony was protected by Trump’s claim of executive privilege.

A lawyer for Bannon told the committee in a letter over the weekend that Bannon was now prepared to testify after Trump issued his own letter that he would waive any claims of executive privilege.

While such a willingness to testify would not erase the criminal charges against Bannon, Nichols left open the possibility that the letters could be referred to at trial, saying the information was “at least potentially relevant” to Bannon’s defense.

The judge thought earlier Thursday that Bannon could argue that he believed the committee’s dates were flexible and flexible enough to comply with the subpoena — an argument prosecutors say is belied by the facts and the law.

“The felony offense (related to a subpoena) was complete at that point,” said prosecutor Amanda Vaughn.

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

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