Justice accuses Bannon lawyers of trying to turn case from legal proceedings to media circus
The Justice Department is accusing lawyers for Trump ally Steve Bannon of filing "frivolous" legal complaints to create media hype around the defense of the criminal charges their client faces for refusing to comply with a Democrat-led House committee's demand that he comply with its Jan. 6 probe.
The agency filed a 10-page document Sunday night in which prosecutors say Bannon attorney Evan Corcoran has repeatedly rebuffed their efforts to negotiate an evidence-sharing agreement, a standard part of the process in criminal trials, according to Politico.
Bannon was a White House political adviser for President Trump. He refused to comply with the subpoenas issued by the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot demand he testify and supply documents related to the incident, amid speculation he helped plan the incident.
The agency argues that instead of negotiating, Bannon’s defense used a public court filing Wednesday — and a statement to the Washington Post — to complain about the case.
"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,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn writes in the document.
Bannon appears to be attempting to slow the criminal proceedings against him and use the case to attack Democrats.
However, Bannon used a court appearance earlier this month to foreshadow efforts to delay the case for months.
“I’m telling you right now, this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for (Attorney General) Merrick Garland, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and (President) Joe Biden,” Bannon said after his initial court hearing earlier this month.
A judge has set a Dec. 7 hearing to revisit the trial schedule, Politico also reports.