As near all know, Steve Bannon, an off and on member of the Trump camp, has been arrested and charged with felony contempt of Congress due to ignoring a subpoena to appear. The criminal trial will proceed just like any other except with greater scrutiny and more sensitive documents. As often happens in politically charged cases involving executive privilege, attorneys last week agreed that the judge should enter an order that all discovery passed between the parties be kept secret.
But that was last week. This week, Bannon’s team filed a motion requesting that the court release the documents. Bannon’s legal “angle” in this assertion is difficult to discern.
According to the Washington Post:
“Members of the public should make their own independent judgment as to whether the U.S. Department of Justice is committed to a just result based upon all the facts,” said a statement provided to The Washington Post on behalf of Bannon. “In the opposition filed today, Mr. Bannon asked the judge to follow the normal process and allow unfettered access to and use of the documents.”
Yes, as most know, generally, criminal case files are available to the public. This is how the media is able to report assertions and evidence in the case. Though, as said above, it is difficult to precisely discern Bannon’s motive, there is an indication in the language of the document. Bannon wants the “public” (aka MAGAs) involved, such that the MAGAs can put the DOJ and Committee on trial and make the DOJ appear to be operating out of bounds in this case.
Bannon’s legal team argued that the government offered little reason the documents should be withheld from public view, adding that many of the documents that would be restricted by the proposed protective order in this case are already public.
Again, we are left to speculate, but the most logical explanation, should Occam weigh in with his razor, is that the government’s documents contain information that would reveal where the committee stands in its work and its justification for needing Bannon’s testimony and why it should not be considered privileged.
We will follow up with the judge’s ruling when it is made. Rulings such as these can take a couple of hours or up to a week.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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