Form Trump White House adviser Stephen Bannon threatened to make the charges against him “the misdemeanor from hell” for the Biden administration.
“I’m telling you right now, this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. … We’re going on the offense,” Bannon told the media after leaving the courthouse. “They took on the wrong guy this time; they took on the wrong guys.”
Bannon was indicted by a grand jury on Saturday and surrendered himself to the FBI on Monday on charges of criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with the partisan House select committee on the January 6 Capitol riot. Bannon is expected to be arraigned on Thursday, when he will most likely plead not guilty. He faces a maximum of one year in jail for each charge.
Bannon refused to cooperate with the committee, claiming his communications with Trump are protected by executive privilege, which Trump has asserted. However, the committee claims that only a sitting president can assert executive privilege.
“When the privilege has been invoked by the purported holder of privilege, he has no choice but to withhold the document. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle,” Bannon’s lawyer, former Trump impeachment attorney David Schoen, said Monday, “He didn’t refuse to comply. He made quite clear that if a court ordered him to comply, he would do that. But he had an obligation to honor the privilege.”
“Office of Legal Counsel opinions make clear that it applies to discussions with former government officials. And that makes sense — it makes sense because we often see former officials kept in the loop that the president needs to consult with,” he said, referring to an office within DOJ that advises the attorney general on legal matters,” Schoen continued. “That’s what executive privilege exists for. So that people can speak freely with the president, talk about strategy matters and talk about national security.”