Attorneys for former chief Trump strategist Steve Bannon are asking the court to deny the federal government’s request to keep documents in his case largely private.
Bannon has pleaded not guilty to contempt of Congress charges after he was indicted by a federal grand jury for failing to comply with congressional summons in the House select committee’s January 6 investigation.
In a November 24 filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Bannon’s attorneys claim the government did not provide legal authority when it sought a protective order governing any discovery materials, and say the defense wouldn’t be able to share “sensitive” documents produced during discovery with witnesses. Bannon’s attorneys argue that prohibiting the sharing of documents would jeopardize Bannon’s right to a fair trial under the Constitution.
“In short, this court should deny the government’s proposed protective order insofar as it would interfere with Mr. Bannon’s right to a fair trial,” the court filing says.
Bannon has been indicted both for failing to appear for an October 14 deposition before the select committee and refusing to provide documents. He was released on his own recognizance after making an initial appearance in court last week.
Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican and one of the House select committee’s members, has said “it appears that Mr. Bannon had substantial advance knowledge of the plans for January 6th and likely had an important role in formulating those plans.”
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse at the time, Bannon, 67, vowed to fight the charges. “What we’re doing is taking on this illegitimate Biden regime,” Bannon told reporters. He urged supporters not to “ever let this noise up here take you off message.”
If convicted, he would face between 30 days and a year in prison on each charge, as well as fines of up to $100,000. Bannon was no longer in government at the time of the January 6 assault.
The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol has subpoenaed a number of other individuals, including conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and onetime Trump ally Roger Stone.