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July trial set for Steve Bannon in Jan. 6 Capitol riot contempt of Congress case


Former Trump Administration White House advisor Steve Bannon gives a brief statement as he arrives to turn himself in at the FBI Washington Field Office on November 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.

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A federal judge on Tuesday set a tentative July 18 start date for the trial of former Trump advisor Steve Bannon on charges of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a probe of the Capitol riot.

The trial is scheduled to last two weeks, Judge Carl Nichols ruled after hearing from federal prosecutors and lawyers for Bannon during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington.

The ruling split the difference between the requests from prosecutors, who wanted a speedy trial to start in mid-April at the latest, and Bannon’s lawyers, who requested 10 months of time to prepare.

The House voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress in late October for refusing to comply with a subpoena for documents and testimony that was issued by the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot.

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On that day, hundreds of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing Congress to flee their chambers and temporarily disrupting lawmakers from confirming President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Trump and many of his allies, including Bannon, had spent months before the riot falsely claiming the election was rigged for Biden.

Bannon’s lawyer argued that he was adhering to the assertion of executive privilege that had been claimed by Trump, which barred the former White House senior advisor from providing the materials requested by the select committee.

In November, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury of two counts of contempt of Congress. If convicted, Bannon faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $100,000 for each count. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Jan. 6 select committee has issued dozens of subpoenas as part of its investigation into the facts and causes of the riot, but Bannon is the only person so far to face charges stemming from the probe.

Earlier Tuesday, former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he no longer is cooperating with the Jan. 6 select committee.

Meadows, a former House member, in an interview on the streaming news network Real America’s Voice, said the committee planned to ask about items that he considers protected by executive privilege.

“We found that in spite of our cooperation and sharing documents with them they had issued unbeknownst to us, and not without even a courtesy call, issued a subpoena to a third party carrier trying to get information,” Meadows said. “And so at this point, we, we feel like it’s best that we just continue to honor the executive privilege and it looks like the courts are going to have to weigh in on this.”

“It’s [Trump’s executive] privilege; I can’t waive that,” Meadows said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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