Bannon lawyer complains to judge that his client is 'handcuffed' after his pre-trial stunts got shot down
Steve Bannon (Photo by Nicholas Kamm for AFP)

Steve Bannon's lawyer continued to complain right up the start of opening statements that his client was left with no defenses after his legal stunts failed.

The former White House strategist is on trial for contempt of Congress after refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 Committee, and a judge last week denied his request to delay his trial and attorney David Schoen fumed over pretrial rulings blocking his planned defenses, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Jan Wolfe.

"Mr. Bannon is handcuffed and can't tell [jurors] what he believed," Schoen said to the judge.

Judge Carl Nichols ruled that Bannon, who has not worked in the White House since 2017, was not protected by executive privilege, and he rejected the argument that Bannon was "tricked" into believing he could ignore the subpoenas by Department of Justice guidelines.

Nichols also ruled that Bannon could not present a "public authority" defense because Trump was not a federal official when he was issued the subpoena, and the judge rejected his argument that prosecutors needed to prove that he knew his conduct was unlawful.

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