Steve Bannon contempt of congressional trial begins Monday, after the judge again denied his request to adjourn

DC District Judge Carl Nichols has rejected a lengthy argument from former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon about delaying his contempt for the congressional trial, and ruled it would begin Monday morning with a jury election.

Bannon defense attorney David Schoen argued that the recent release of audio from Mother Jones could affect potential jurors. In the recording, he had predicted days before the 2020 election that President Trump would declare victory on election night, while it looked like he was leading as postal votes, which were expected to favor Joe Biden, would be spoken more slowly in several battlefield states.

“What Trump wants to do is just declare victory. No? He wants to declare victory. But that does not mean he is a winner,” Bannon told a group of people in the sound released by Mother Jones. “He just wants to say he’s a winner.”

Schoen also argued that the committee’s hearing on January 6, Tuesday, when his “hell will break loose” statement was issued, would affect jurors.

Nichols dismissed all these arguments and replied that the jury selection process is the best remedy against bias.

House Committee January 6th sued Bannon in September 2021 due to news reports that he had urged former President Trump to focus on January 6 – where Congress would receive the ballot papers of the Electoral College and confirm Mr Biden’s victory – and had tried to entice members of Congress to vote against the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Bannon’s defense team has already informed the court that it plans to appeal either before or after the trial.

But the judge has so far left the door open to allow Bannon to present evidence to juries on his 11-hour offer to testify before the committee on Jan. 6. Schoen indicated that they plan to argue that Bannon believed the committee’s subpoena on October 14, 2021, was “malleable” or “negotiable.”

Nichols said he will make the final decision on this “deadline” defense next week, but would like to hear an argument from Bannon first.

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