Time to verify in on Steve Bannon, the putrefying podcaster and onetime White Home adviser who’s presently underneath indictment for contempt of Congress after refusing to testify to the January 6 Choose Committee.
Final week, his attorneys shrieked out a movement to dismiss the case primarily based on their principle that the previous president had a proper to say govt privilege over Bannon’s testimony relating to occasions which passed off three years after he obtained fired from the White Home. In web page after web page of incendiary arglebargle, his attorneys argued that Workplace of Authorized Counsel (OLC) Opinions shielding govt department officers from prosecution for refusing to testify about their time in authorities service by some means shield their shopper. As a result of what even is linear time?
The movement even goes as far as to castigate prosecutors for utilizing the time period “personal citizen” to explain Bannon, who, once more, obtained fired from the White Home in 2017.
Bannon’s attorneys additionally dedicate a number of pages to making an attempt to persuade US District Choose Carl J. Nichols that the Committee is illegitimate and thus its subpoenas are a nullity. The idea is that Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy’s refusal to take part within the investigation disadvantaged the Committee of its authority by guaranteeing that there can be no rating member, and thus it doesn’t exist.
The issue with this argument, which each and every January 6 litigant has made, is that it’s already been rejected by a minimum of two courts. US District Choose David Carter gave it quick shrift, discovering that the Committee was “correctly constituted” and ordering Coups 4 Dummies Memo lawyer John Eastman to adjust to the subpoena.
Equally US District Choose Timothy Kelly, like Choose Nichols a Trump appointee to the federal court docket in DC, refused to intrude upon congressional prerogatives by evaluating the Home’s compliance with its personal guidelines.
“True, for no matter motive the Choose Committee didn’t give her—or anybody else—the formal title ‘rating member,” he wrote, in an opinion ordering the RNC to adjust to the Committee’s subpoena. “However to the extent there may be any uncertainty about whether or not she matches the invoice, on this report the Court docket should defer to the Choose Committee’s choice to deal with Consultant Cheney because the rating minority member for session functions.”
However, Bannon’s authorized group remains to be flogging this useless horse, and he’s getting somewhat assist from Republican buddies within the Home. To wit, Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise tried to docket an amicus curiae temporary yesterday making the identical, drained “rating member” argument.
“Minority illustration ensures Choose Committee deponents are afforded oversight of adherence to congressional guidelines, precedents, and established decorum,” they tut-tut, including later that, “The Choose Committee’s authority is restricted to its authorizing decision and failure to stick to that decision dooms any subsequent contempt prosecution.”
Sadly, it was not meant to be, as Choose Nichols instantly yeeted the submitting in a terse minute order:
NOTICE OF ERROR as to STEPHEN Ok. BANNON relating to 75 MOTION to File Amicus Transient on behalf of the U.S. Home of Representatives Minority Chief Kevin O. McCarthy and the U.S. Home of Representatives Minority Whip Stephen J. Scalise by Stanley E. Woodward Jr… The next error(s) want correction: Different- Chambers didn’t approve of this submitting and counsel is just not an get together within the case.
If and when the GOP takes again the Home, McCarthy can stick a shiv within the Committee and finish the investigation. However till then, he’s the pinnacle of the minority get together, and his opinions on the validity of Committee subpoenas imply diddly squat.
Now let’s see if Choose Nichols buys Bannon’s argument that the prosecution should be dismissed for Dangerous Court docket Thingy. Possibly if the protection group shouts even louder?
US v. Bannon [Docket via Court Listener]
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore the place she writes about legislation and politics.