Extremist firebrand Steve Bannon made a claim in a court filing on Monday some are calling a "stunt." According to Bannon, the prosecutors won't give him the documents he is entitled to. Bannon is miffed that he is being indicted when Mark Meadows has not been.
The problem with the filing, according to legal analyst Marcy Wheeler, is that the difference between Meadows and Bannon couldn't be more pronounced. First, Bannon claimed that he got the same letter that former chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House aide Dan Scavino received from the demands by the House Select Committee investigating the attack on Congress.
All of the letters are easily available and able to compare online. The ones sent to Meadows and Scavino, when put side-by-side with the letter to Bannon, show how different they are, as legal analyst Marcy Wheeler explained with screen captures.
According to Bannon's lawyer, anything Bannon discussed with Trump, even after his employment at the White House, falls under executive privilege. He cited the Meadows and Scavino claims that he believes also applies to him.
You tell me. Are these paragraphs the same?
If not, you should be calling out Bannon for deceit, not magnifying his stunt. pic.twitter.com/h2I22KPesz
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) June 27, 2022
Instead of the claims Bannon is making, Wheeler suggested looking at the email exchange between lawyer Justin Clark, lawyer and former Trump staffer, and Bob Costello, Bannon's lawyer. The email Clark references cite the one that Costello sent to Rep. Bennie Thompson refusing to participate in the hearing.
"Bob — I just read your letter dated October 13, 2021 to Congressman Benny Thompson. Just to reiterate, our letter referenced below didn't indicate that we believed there is immunity from testimony for your client," as Clark wrote. "As I indicated to you the other day, we don't believe there is. Now, you may have made a different determination. That is entirely your call. But as I also indicated the other day other avenues to invoke the privilege - if you believe it to be appropriate - exist and are your responsibility. If you haven't already I'd encourage you again to contact counsel for the committee to discuss it further.
Bannon's letter also sources a New York Times report purporting to have "a copy of the declination letters and, based on their reporting on the matter, it might well be that the letters reflecting the decision not to prosecute either Mr. Meadows or Mr. Scavino were summary notices, without much, if any analysis provided."
That's not what the Times report says at all in the report cited in the footnotes.