Always better in the original German, Steve Bannon, in court to attempt to dismiss his contempt indictment, promises 100 years of GOP rule with 100 more GOP congressional wins this year.
“We believe in free and fair and transparent elections! And we’re winning everywhere!” he exclaimed. “This is going to be a massive blowout like 1932. You’re witnessing, right now, a political realignment like 1932. And we will govern for 100 years after we win 100 seats.”
“Do you want to govern as a one-party kind of total government?” the reporter wondered. “Do you want to destroy the Democratic Party?”
“Well, I believe that we will destroy the Democratic Party as a national political institution,” he replied. “A populist uprising of Hispanics, African-Americans and working-class people is before us!”
To start: Judge NICHOLS agrees with Judge Kelly (both Trump appointees) that the Jan. 6 select committee is validly constituted, despite lacking a full complement of 13 members.NICHOLS also agrees with Judge Kelly that Liz Cheney effectively operates as the select committee’s ranking member, even though she wasn’t designated as such by the minority leader.NICHOLS says it was also wrong for Bannon to refuse to provide the select committee with a privileg log.
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Steve Bannon had at least one private conversation with then-President Donald Trump that he wants to keep secret from the Jan. 6 Committee, his lawyer disclosed in federal court on Wednesday.
That’s just one reason Bannon believes he can invoke executive privilege to prevent him from testifying before the panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
David Schoen, one of Bannon’s lawyers, who also happened to represent Trump at his second impeachment trial, twice referenced this interaction before a federal judge as the reason why his client should not be prosecuted now for contempt of Congress.
“He’s a former senior adviser who the president then calls in,” Schoen said when describing why the interaction should be barred from congressional inquiry, adding that anyone in Bannon’s position who had previously served in the White House and “was later called in to have a conversation with the president” would not anticipate being prosecuted for keeping that interaction private.Federal prosecutor Amanda Vaughn said that “cherry-picking” snippets of DOJ memos about executive privilege could not be used as a “free pass to commit crimes” and not show up before Congress.
She said there was no opinion from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, which designs these sorts of policies, that would say Bannon “didn’t have to turn over documents of his communications with the Proud Boys, or Oath Keepers, or his meetings with members of Congress on January 5th at the Loews Hotel.”
Bannon’s executive privilege argument rests on a string (of) shaky premises. For one, he’s arguing that executive privilege extends to former presidents. For another, he’s holding that executive privilege extends to him—at the time, a private citizen—because he had interactions with the then-president. And then, finally, as the prosecution pointed out Wednesday, Bannon holds that he has blanket protection from talking to Congress about anything because he had a conversation with the president.
When Bannon refused to testify or hand over documents to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol building in October last year, the panel held him in contempt of Congress, and the Department of Justice followed up with a criminal indictment in November. The rightwing provocateur immediately seized it as an opportunity to attack the attorney general, House speaker, and president.
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