Leaked audio of Steve Bannon published earlier this week by Mother Jones confirms that days before the 2020 presidential election, Republican incumbent Donald Trump planned to prematurely declare victory on the night of November 3 regardless of whether it was true.
Steve Bannon's leaked footage from J6 Committee might be damning evidence for jurors | RawStory.TVSteve Bannon's leaked footage from J6 Committee might be damning evidence for jurors | RawStory.TV
Bannon asked the judge overseeing his trial on Friday to grill jurors about whether they watched Thursday night's House Select Committee hearing that featured damning footage of him outlining former President Donald Trump's plan to declare victory even if he lost the 2020 election.
As reported by Politico's Kyle Cheney, Bannon requested that "that there should be some inquiry" to the jurors about whether they watched the Thursday hearings, while going on the say that the jurors should be assured of "the importance of candor and that they will not suffer negative consequences if they acknowledge exposure to the broadcast or its subject."
Toward the end of Thursday's hearing, the January 6th Committee played a leaked recording published earlier this month showing that Bannon accurately predicting what Trump would do if he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.
"What Trump's gonna do is just declare victory. Right? He's gonna declare victory. But that doesn't mean he's a winner," Bannon told associates on October 31, 2020, just days before the election. "He's just gonna say he's a winner."
"It's not clear how much influence Bannon, who had previously been Trump's top White House strategist before being ousted, really wielded over Trump at this time," the outlet reported. "But Bannon has suggested that he was a key architect of Trump's efforts to overturn the election results and has reportedly asserted that he convinced Trump to make January 6 a moment of reckoning in that bid."
Trump apparently liked the strategy. Two months ago, he took to his Truth Social platform to encourage far-right U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz to "declare victory" in Pennsylvania's Republican primary even though the race between Oz and ex-hedge fund manager David McCormick was too close to call at the time.
Prematurely declaring victory "makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they 'just happened to find,'" Trump said at the time, repeating his thoroughly disproven lie that Biden stole the White House.
Hold Trump Accountable, a campaign of progressive advocacy group Free Speech for People, responded by tweeting: "This is why we keep saying Trump is a clear and present danger to democracy."
The release of the Bannon audio comes as the erstwhile Trump adviser prepares to go to trial on Monday over criminal contempt charges stemming from his refusal to respond to a subpoena last year from the House January 6 panel.