Bannon Seeks to Overturn Conviction for Contempt of Congress

( – Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) released a statement on June 16 that said what many Republican voters apparently believe, that the Left has done “everything they could to take down President Donald Trump.” The weaponized Department of Justice under President Joe Biden along with politically motivated state officials such as New York Attorney General Leticia James have widened their focus to include Trump’s family and political allies, such as Steve Bannon. Bannon is now fighting back.

Hampered Defense

Bannon was convicted on two misdemeanor counts and his lawyers have appealed that to the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, seeking to have them overturned. They contend that the trial court erred when the judge ruled that the central aspects of the defense could not be presented to the jury. A three-judge panel heard oral arguments from both sides of the appeal on November 9.

Bannon was subpoenaed to testify before the House Select Committee investigating the events of January 6, 2021 — ludicrously called “bipartisan” with seven Democrats and two nominal Republicans, Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both of whom voted in favor of the second impeachment of Trump. Because the former president had claimed executive privilege over much of Bannon’s work product, on the advice of counsel, he refused to appear. He was charged with contempt of Congress and was later indicted on the misdemeanor charges.

In court filings before the appeals panel, Bannon’s attorney alleges that the trial judge violated the defendant’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights by, among other things, allowing all the prosecution witnesses who were members and aides of the Select Committee to testify. However, the document alleges that he quashed all the subpoenas issued by the defense team to others within that same group of people, thereby meaning that the jury would only hear the prosecution’s narrative.

Another point brought up in the filing is the very legitimacy of the subpoena issued to Bannon due to the makeup of the Select Committee when compared to the resolution (H. Res. 503, (of the 117th Congress)) that authorized its formation. They argue that section 2 states that “[t]he Speaker shall appoint 13 Members… 5 of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority [Republican] leader.” As noted earlier, there were only nine total members with only two that could be stretched to be representative of the Republicans.

The three judges will now consider the merits of each side’s arguments and any applicable precedent to make their ruling, no timetable for that announcement has been given.

Why Go After Trump?

If the witch hunt — as many are calling it — against Trump is a strategic move by the Democrats, it is one of high risk/high reward because a criminal conviction could conceivably knock him out of any presidential elections. However, failure could spell disaster for them in 2024, if the numbers presented by poll aggregator project 538 are accurate.

As of November 9, they indicate that the former president is polling at 56.6% in the Republican primary race, with the next closest candidate being Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 14.1%. In the potential Trump/Biden general election rematch, most of the polls they list show a statistical dead heat (assuming that the margin of error is +/- 3%, which is common) or they show the current occupant of the White House trailing by several points.

Copyright 2023,