Judge denies Bannon bid to delay contempt trial, blocks executive privilege defense

"What's the point of going to trial here if there is no defense?" Bannon's attorney said

Updated: July 11, 2022 - 4:31pm

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Former White House strategist Steve Bannon failed to secure a delay to his contempt trial after a federal judge on Monday denied his request and also blocked the close Trump ally from using executive privilege as a defense.

Bannon will face trial next week for refusing to testify to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot due to concerns over executive privilege. Former President Donald Trump wrote a letter to Bannon over the weekend agreeing to waive executive privilege to allow him to testify to the Select Committee.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols stated that Bannon could not introduce specific evidence regarding executive privilege claims, CNN reported. 

Evidence showing Bannon may have been legally excused from following the House subpoena will not be allowed at the trial, Nichols, a Trump appointee, ruled. 

However, evidence will be allowed if it shows that Bannon purposely failed to comply with the committee. 

"What's the point of going to trial here if there is no defense?" Bannon attorney David Schoen said after the judge's ruling. 

The decision comes after the FBI revealed it had interviewed Trump's attorney, Justin Clark, who said the former president did not invoke executive privilege over Bannon.