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Bannon Responds With Fire, Doubles Down on Trump and ‘MAGA’ After Guilty Verdict

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Steve Bannon, the former advisor to former President Donald trump, is not taking the guilty verdict in his case lying down.

He was convicted on Friday of defying a subpoena from Congress and its Democrat led January 7 committee, but he is hitting back.

He appeared on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and explained to the host that he is more behind former President Donald trump than ever before.

The host acknowledged that on the same day that Bannon was convicted, a man in New York lunged at Republican candidate for governor Less Zeldin with a knife and was allowed to walk out of jail the same day with no bail.

“A guy who tried to murder a gubernatorial candidate in New York was released with no bail. What are we to make of these two events occurring the same day?” the host said.

“As you can tell, the Democrats are completely lawless and look how they’ve run this committee,” the guest responded. “There is no ranking member. There’s no minority counsel. It’s not like the traditional hearings that have galvanized the nation in the past.”

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He was talking about the January 6 Committee put together by House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

“We need a commission or committee on Jan. 6,” he said. “It’s got to be with the new Congress, with the Republicans in charge. We’ve got to get to the bottom of the intelligence failures, FBI involvement, DHS involvement, the intelligence services.”

“We’ve got to get to the bottom of it,” he said.

He said that the judge in the case would not allow his attorneys to mount a defense on their claims of executive privilege.

“They’re coming at us on every aspect. Look, they’re trying to shut you down,” he said. “[P]eople have to understand, right now, this is an ideological war, and we cannot lose. The fate of the country is [at stake] over the next couple of years.”

“I would tell the January 6 [Committee] staff right now: Preserve your documents because there’s going to be a real committee. And this is going to be backed by Republican grassroots voters and MAGA to say we want to get to the bottom of this for the good of the nation,” Bannon said.

“Republicans have to have the stones to put on a real hearing,” he said.

He said he did not care if he is sentenced to time behind bars, he will not stop supporting the former president.

“If I go to jail, I go to jail. I will never back off a second,” he said. “Look, I spent eight years as a naval officer; I’ve committed my life to this program…to get this done. I will never back off. I support Trump and the Constitution and I’m not backing off one inch. If I go to jail, so be it.”

His attorney, in a motion to postpone the trial earlier this month, argued that the judge was preventing them from having a defense.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols gave several rulings in which he shot down defenses being used by Bannon’s attorneys.

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And he denied a request from his attorneys to delay the trial after they said that they were concerned about a biased jury because of the media coverage of the January 6 committee hearings, The Washington Examiner reported.

“While I am certainly cognizant of Mr. Bannon’s concerns regarding publicity, in my view the correct mechanism at this time for addressing that concern is through the [jury selection] process,” the judge said.

Among his decisions, Nichols ruled that Bannon could not present evidence that he had relied on past opinions from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel when he refused to appear before the Jan. 6 committee, citing executive privilege.

Nichols also ruled that Bannon could not claim “entrapment by estoppel” and argue that he thought he was acting lawfully when he ignored the committee’s subpoena due to the advice of a government official because Bannon himself was not a government employee at the time the subpoena was issued. Additionally, the judge shot down the defendant’s efforts to use the “public authority” defense because former President Donald Trump was not a government official when he told Bannon not to comply with the committee’s request.

Ultimately, Nichols narrowed the focus of Bannon’s trial down to the central question of whether the former Trump adviser deliberately and intentionally refused to appear before the Jan. 6 committee after being subpoenaed.

“What is the point of going to trial here if there are no defenses?” Bannon’s attorney David Schoen said.

“Agreed,” the judge said.

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