Politics

Steve Bannon claims he didn’t ‘willfully’ commit a crime in defying congressional subpoenas

Former chief White House strategist for former President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, argues he is not guilty of his criminal charges. Bannon has been charged with criminal contempt of Congress, and issued a court filing on Friday claiming he is not guilty.

According to CBS News, his reasoning is because he was following the advice of his lawyers and was unaware he was committing a crime.

Bannon was charged after refusing to testify and provide documents to the House select committee investigating January 6th. Bannon was advised by his lawyers to not attend his interview with the committee and to not give them the requested documents.

The lawyers informed Bannon that Trump wanted to claim executive privilege. However, Bannon has not been employed by the former President or White House since 2017. Defense attorneys stated, “Reliance on advice of counsel fundamentally negates guilt.”

Prosecutors said Bannon was given “erroneous” legal advice to defy the subpoenas. They have asked the federal judge overseeing the case to prevent him from taking this defense.

Prosecutors wrote that Bannon’s “purported reliance on his counsel’s erroneous advice otherwise is no defense to the crime charge. The deliberate failure to comply with a congressional subpoena- regardless of motivation- constitutes the crime of contempt.”

Bannon’s court filing says, “Mr. Costello advised Mr. Bannon that he did not have the ability to waive executive privilege and he did not have the ability to discern what documents or communications were privileged, since that authority belonged to former President Trump.”

Bannon was indicted in November by a federal grand jury for contempt of Congress for his failure to comply.

ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CLEVELAND.COM

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I was born and raised in Omaha, NE before moving to Sioux Falls, SD to attend college at Augustana University. This past May I graduated from Augustana with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Biology with an emphasis in Allied Health. I first discovered FBA through my involvement with Turning Point USA where I worked as a Campus Coordinator in college. I have a passion for politics and activism, and was drawn to FBA’s dedication to spreading the truth. Unbiased news is rare in today’s society, so I wanted to be a part of FBA’s mission to change that.

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