On MSNBC Tuesday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner analyzed the opening statements of both parties in the case of Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon, on trial for contempt of Congress after stonewalling the House January 6 Committee for months.
The prosecution, which laid out that Bannon was "thumbing his nose" at the legal system itself, presented its case well, argued Kirschner — whereas Bannon's attorney slipped up in a way that could cost his client dearly.
"The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn, did a really nice job," said Kirschner. "She presented a linear, logical, and perhaps most importantly layman-friendly opening statement to the jury. It almost had a civics class feel to it. Which I think was appropriate. Because she needed to explain to the jurors, they don't all necessarily know how Congress functions. What the House of Representatives is, what committees are, what the J6 House Select Committee is, how they do their business."
"And then she dove into the heart of it," Kirschner continued. "She said, Steve Bannon had critically important information about what happened on January 6th at the Capitol. And the committee needed it, wanted it, and had every lawful right to it. So they subpoenaed him. And then he intentionally defied the subpoena. It wasn't a mistake, it wasn't an accident, he simply decided that he doesn't live by the same rules and laws that his fellow citizens lived by. And I thought it was a really effective opening statement."
"The defense attorney by the name of Evan Corcoran opened for Steve Bannon. And I think he made a fatal mistake," Kirschner said. "He wrote a bad check to the jury. He wrote a check I don't think the evidence will cash. Trial lawyers will tell you never bounce a check with your jury. It hurts your case. And it can hurt your credibility in the eyes of the jury. What he said, it was really interesting, was, here ladies and gentlemen, Steve Bannon was served with the subpoena, but the dates weren't fixed. They were, quote, flexible. I have seen no evidence ... in the government's opening statement or any of the litigation on the motion that will support that assertion."
"In fact, the first witness who has already testified, Kristin Amerling, the chief counsel for the J6 Committee, has already shut that down," added Kirschner. "She said he was subpoenaed and he defied, he violated the subpoenas. Miss Amerling has not been cross-examined yet, that will come tomorrow. But, you know what, if you write a check for the jury an opening statement that you can't cash, you are in trouble."
Glenn Kirschner says Bannon's lawyer made a "fatal mistake" www.youtube.com