Steve Bannon lawyer squirms as CNN host backs him into corner over damning leaked recording of his client
On CNN Monday, anchor John Berman grilled David Schoen, the defense attorney who represented Trump ally Steve Bannon at his trial for contempt of Congress, after he had refused to give any information to the House Select Committee on January 6 — and backed him into a corner with his client's own words.
"I do want to play something your client, Steve Bannon, said before Election Day and have you explain it, if you can," said Berman. "This only came to light a few weeks ago. This was before November 3, 2020. Listen."
"What Trump's going to do, is just declare victory," said Bannon in the clip. "That doesn't mean he's a winner. He's just going to say he's a winner."
"So, he's going to declare victory. Doesn't mean he's the winner. He's just going to say he's the winner," said Berman. "That was before Election Day. What did he mean?"
"First of all, I'm not plugged in during that time period. Had nothing to do with the case at all," said Schoen. "However, I have had a conversation with him about it. Apparently this is part of a speaking tour. Their view — this is before Election Day as you say. Their view was there was going to be fraud in the election. The Democrats were going to make a certain claim. Therefore, they made these claims. I don't have any idea, quite frankly, about a lot of the rhetoric that went on. That's kind of beyond my purview."
"He says he's going to say he's the winner even though he's not the winner," Berman pushed him.
"You have to ask him that in context," said Schoen.
"It does raise questions about his state of mind and the mindset before Election Day," said Berman.
"Again, what I would say is — and the committee should have taken him up on his offer to testify — civil enforcement proceeding is what they've done for decades," said Schoen. "Go before a judge. He says privilege doesn't count. Not properly invoked. You must testify. He says, I want to testify. Let me testify. My hands are tied. I'm a pawn between your fight and Congress."
"Where we began, is he going to testify before the Committee?" asked Berman.
"I don't know," said Schoen. "If he does it now it would be a voluntary basis because the subpoena has been extinguished."
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