On Thursday, Politico's Kyle Cheney reported that the Justice Department is responding to Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon's allegations that the jury pool in his trial was tainted by the publicity surrounding his case.
Specifically, prosecutors told judge Carl Nichols, Bannon left out that insofar as there was publicity surrounding the case, a lot of it came from the unusual press conferences Bannon himself chose to hold outside the courthouse, trashing federal officials and claiming that he was a political victim.
For example, noted in the filing, "On July 20, 2022, after trial had concluded for the day, the Defendant gave a press conference in front of the courthouse doors. During the press conference, the Defendant called the [House January 6] Committee's work a "show trial, the Moscow show trial of the 1930s." He also reiterated what had been admitted into evidence during the trial that day about his public statements at the time he refused to comply with the Committee's subpoena, stating, "I stand with Trump and the Constitution."
Bannon, who repeatedly and categorically refused to cooperate with Congress in any way as they investigated the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol despite him appearing to boast of advanced knowledge of it on his podcast beforehand, was convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress after he gave a minimal defense for his actions.
In recent weeks, he had expressed interest in relenting and cooperating with Congress, after Trump issued a letter clarifying he was waiving executive privilege for Bannon — something most legal experts agree didn't even apply in the first place.
Bannon filed a motion for an acquittal earlier this week, but Nichols — a Trump judicial appointee — smacked it down, saying the evidence was “sufficient to sustain a conviction.”