Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has asked a federal judge to delay his trial over contempt of Congress charges by three months due to the Jan. 6 House select committee’s hearings garnering too much publicity, making it unlikely that a jury would be impartial.
Bannon was indicted in November 2021 by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress stemming from his failure to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.
The former adviser had refused the subpoena, asserting a right to executive privilege as a former White House staff member.
After failing to hand over the requested documents and make an appearance before the House committee, lawmakers referred Bannon to the Department of Justice (DOJ) which decided to pursue a criminal case against him.
Bannon’s trial was set to start on July 18 but his lawyers, in a motion filed in a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on June 29, asked that the trial be delayed until October.
“When trial was scheduled, neither the Court nor the parties were aware of the June and upcoming July media blitz by Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol,” the motion states, noting that the Committee had “hired a television executive to produce maximum public impact.”
James Goldston, the former president of ABC News, is helping the committee with its televised hearings, a move that has been criticized by a group of House Republicans.
‘Maximize Public Impact’
“In addition, the Select Committee scheduled its initial public hearing during prime time—again, to maximize public impact when presenting purported investigative ‘findings,’” the motion reads.
“Public impact is not limited to the hearings themselves, but to the media coverage that magnified the hearings. In Washington, DC, where trial will take place—and where