Prosecutors criticized former White House strategist Steve Bannon, saying that he is trying to make his case on contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas from the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the January 6 insurrection a trial by media “rather than in court.”
The prosecution’s comments came after Bannon’s defense requested that the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office unseal all evidence in the case, including grand jury testimony.
“The defense’s misleading claims, failure to confer, unexplained wholesale opposition, and extrajudicial statements make clear the defense’s real purpose: to abuse criminal discovery to try this case in the media rather than in court,” the prosecutors wrote in a court filing, arguing that unsealing the evidence would undermine the privacy of any witnesses who may have testified to the grand jury and undermine their testimony during trial.
“The defendant’s threat of ‘going on offense’ and making this case ‘hell’ cannot be ignored when considering these witnesses’ privacy interests in their personal background information,” the filing reads.
Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury on two criminal contempt charges on November 12 and surrendered to authorities three days later. The House of Representatives had voted to hold him in criminal contempt of Congress and to refer him to the Justice Department after Bannon’s defense gave the House Select Committee advance notice that he would not comply.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.