Prosecutors are asking a judge to dismiss Steve Bannon’s request to make public evidence of his contempt of Congress, accusing former President Donald Trump’s adviser of trying to “try this case in the media.”
Prosecutors asked earlier this month that a protective order be issued that would limit what Bannon and his attorneys can free from the “discovery” process to the public or the media. This would include the grand jury transcripts that led to the actual indictment.
The equipment is essential for a defense to prepare its case for trial, but Bannon’s attorneys made it clear, in their own application to the court, that they believed the protection order was “Cumbersome and restrictive”. Bannon’s attorneys also argued that prosecutors were asking for too much leeway in what they could determine to be too much “sensitive” to be disseminated to the public.
In their latest case, however, prosecutors said they believed Bannon’s actions were a way of trying the case in the media rather than in court. They claim that the disclosure of certain information would amount to witness tampering, as it would not provide any protection for the identity and testimony of certain witnesses. They also claimed that the fact that such evidence is public would lead to “extrajudicial” arguments of Bannon’s allies “on the merits of the pending case against him and the validity of the government’s decision to seek an indictment.”
Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress earlier this month for failing to respond to a subpoena to testify before a subcommittee to investigate the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. Bannon spoke at a nearby event shortly before.
Prosecutors say Bannon is trying to “abuse” the discovery process. The former White House official had previously vowed to bring charges against him on “hell crime” for the administration of Joe Biden.
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