Bannon just blew off a court appearance because he isn't taking the charges seriously: legal expert
Steve Bannon (Screengrab / 60 minutes)

Trump adviser Steve Bannon formally pleaded not guilty Wednesday to two counts of contempt, stemming from his decision to defy a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.

Bannon's attorney filed a notice in advance of a hearing set for Thursday morning, saying he doesn't need to have his charges read by a judge in open court, meaning he can skip a formal arraignment.

NYU law professor Melissa Murray told MSNBC on Wednesday night that it's uncommon for a defendant to waive arraignment.

"Typically the person who's been charged will hear the charges against them in open court," Murray said. "The fact that he chose not to do so in this case, and that his lawyer weighed in by email to say that it was merely to make this more efficient, suggests that perhaps he doesn't quite take this as seriously as everyone else seems to be taking it. So it is an unorthodox step, one that most defendants do not take, but again, there has been nothing that has been by the book about all of this to begin with."

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa followed up by saying that Bannon is playing a "waiting game" to see whether the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the question of whether Trump administration communications related to Jan. 6 are protected by executive privilege.

"They're going to hope that Justice (Brett) Kavanaugh and other conservatives on the court rule in favor of protecting a former president's privilege, even when he's talking to someone like Steve Bannon who's been out of the White House for years," Costa said.

Watch below.

Bannon pleads not guilty (MSNBC)