Prosecutors overseeing the case against White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on charges of contempt of Congress made clear they can make their case against him in a single day, according to a court filing.
“The Government anticipates that its case-in-chief will consist of one day of testimony,” prosecutors said in the report, adding that they want to prohibit Bannon from employing any defense that claims that he was acting on the advice of his lawyers when he defied the subpoena from the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the events of January 6.
The Justice Department and Bannon’s defense disagree on a timeline for the trial. While the Justice Department has proposed beginning Bannon’s trial on April 15, 2022, Bannon’s lawyers have proposed an October 17, 2022 date, arguing that they need more time to collect evidence.
“This case raises complex constitutional issues of first impression,” the filing reads. “Some of these issues involve inter-branch relationships and on the operations of the U.S. government at its highest levels. There is no basis for having these issues adjudicated on a rushed basis.”
Prosecutors criticized Bannon last week, saying that he is trying to make his case 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.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.