Bannon lawyers hit with four objections in 'truly remarkable' closing statements: report
Former Trump White House political strategist Steve Bannon's lawyers on Friday repeatedly drew the ire of both the judge and prosecutors during their closing arguments.
Bannon, who led Trump's successful 2016 presidential election campaign, was among dozens called to testify about the storming of Congress by Trump supporters.
Bannon was indicted on two charges of contempt of Congress after refusing to testify to a House of Representatives committee probing the violence.
Politico reporter Kyle Cheney describes the Bannon legal team's closing arguments as "truly remarkable" on the grounds that they were hit with four sustained objections while making them, which is an unusually high number to have for a closing argument.
"Even lodging a single objection is exceedingly rare during closing arguments," Cheney notes.
Among other things, Bannon's attorneys argued that Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) didn't put a valid signature on the subpoena that was sent to Bannon last year by pointing out that the signature on the subpoena appeared sloppier than the one that has appeared on other documents that the Democratic Chairman of the House Select Committee has signed in the past.
Given that this was new evidence being introduced into the closing arguments, Judge Carl Nichols sustained prosecutors' objections.
Other sustained objections came when Bannon lawyer Evan Corcoran "repeatedly insinuated that the prosecution was political," although Cheney notes that Corcoran nonetheless succeeded in planting "those ideas in the jury's head."
As a reward for his efforts, Cheney writes, Bannon "patted his attorney on the back."
Bannon's lawyers sought to delay the start of the trial so that it would not take place at the same time as the committee's public hearings, but the judge refused last week.
Thousands of Trump supporters, many associated with ultra-nationalist and white supremacist groups, stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 in an effort to block the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.
They had been egged on by Trump in a fiery speech during which he repeated his false claims of election fraud.
According to the committee probing the riot, Bannon spoke to Trump the previous day.
Investigators believe Bannon and other Trump advisors could have information on links between the White House and the rioters.
After refusing to testify for months, Bannon finally agreed to cooperate with the investigation, a move prosecutors said was a "last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability" by stalling his trial for contempt.
Judge Carl Nichols ruled it should go ahead anyway, saying "I see no reason for extending this case any longer."
If convicted of contempt, Bannon, 68, faces a minimum sentence of 30 days and a maximum of one year in prison on each count.