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A federal judge ruled Monday that Steve Bannon will still face trial, despite Trump’s ex-advisor telling the January 6 committee he was willing to testify.
Bannon, a former White House strategist and ex-advisor to Donald Trump, indicated to the January 6 committee over the weekend that he was finally willing to testify. This comes after months of defying a congressional subpoena, which he is now facing criminal charges for.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols declined Monday to delay Bannon’s upcoming trial, despite Bannon seemingly willing to cooperate with the January 6 committee. The trial is scheduled to begin next week. With news of the trial still moving forward, it is unclear if Bannon will still cooperate with the January 6 committee.
In a letter sent to Bannon’s lawyer, Trump encourages Bannon to testify.
“If you reach an agreement on a time and place for your testimony, I will waive executive privilege for you, which allows for you to go in and testify truthfully and fairly, as per the request of the unselect committee of political thugs and hacks,” Trump wrote.
Steve Bannon will face the music
At the last committee hearing, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson revealed new allegations that Trump, and his advisors, knew the mob present in D.C. was heavily armed with AR-15s, handguns, body armor, bear spray, etc.
Bannon asserted to the January 6 committee that his testimony was protected by Trump’s claim of executive privilege. The committee claimed that assertion is incorrect because Bannon was fired from the White House in 2017.
Bannon hosts a podcast called War Room, where he routinely spreads white supremacist rhetoric, and even told his followers on January 5, 2021 that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”
Steve Bannon was at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC on the night of January 5, 2021. ….At his "War Room podcast: pic.twitter.com/91xEFO2hlv
— Mike (@UmustBkiddingME) July 11, 2022
Federal prosecutors argued Monday that Bannon’s new offer to appear wouldn’t change any criminal offense committed by not appearing earlier. Randall Eliason, a former prosecutor who now teaches law at George Washington University, agreed with that view.
“This is a criminal contempt,” Eliason said. “You can’t erase the charge by deciding to show up later.”