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‘Huge Blow’: Steve Bannon’s Attorney Complains After Judge Rules for DOJ – ‘What’s the Point of Going to Trial?’

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A Trump-appointed federal judge on Monday ruled almost entirely for the U.S. Dept. of Justice as attorneys prepare to go to trial in the case against Steve Bannon, the far right-wing activist who served as Donald Trump’s White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President.

The House of Representatives had voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress, after he ignored a legal and valid subpoena from the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. The DOJ is prosecuting the case.

Judge Carl Nichols refused Bannon’s attorneys’ request to delay the trial, ordering it to begin as scheduled next Monday, CNN reports, despite Bannon’s attorneys claiming they don’t have enough time to prepare. Judge Nichols also tossed Bannon’s claim of executive privilege.

At one point an attorney for the Dept. of Justice reminded the judge that while Bannon tried to invoke executive privilege, which he has no right to, Bannon also refused to provide to Congress documents that had no privilege attached.

“How are communications with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers possibly relevant to executive privilege?” an Asst. U.S. Attorney asked Judge Nichols, as Politico’s Kyle Cheney reports.

Cheney reports the judge ruled that federal prosecutors “only need to prove Bannon acted ‘deliberately’ and ‘intentionally’ to defy the select committee — not that he knew it was illegal or wrong.”

Judge Nichols also ruled “Bannon cannot present evidence that he relied on internal DOJ opinions or assertions of executive privilege,” Cheney adds.

“This is a huge blow to Bannon’s defense — it essentially cuts off his primary arguments that he claimed justified his decision not to appear. He’s left with very little else in his defense,” he says.

In another damning message to Bannon, Judge Nichols destroyed another large part of Bannon’s argument.

“The former president, in his civilian capacity, is by definition not a federal official” and “never instructed Mr. Bannon not to show up altogether,” Nichols said.

Nichols also ruled Bannon cannot subpoena the Speaker of the House to testify.

Bannon’s attorney David Schoen was apparently extremely frustrated by the end.

“What’s the point of going to trial if we don’t have any defenses,” he told Judge Nichols, as The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports. Lowell called it a “heavy defeat” for Bannon.

Cheney reports DOJ won “virtually every motion … leaving Bannon with almost no conceivable defense except, perhaps, that he misunderstood the date of the subpoena deadline.”

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No ‘Semblance of a Campaign’: Five of Trump’s Candidates for Governor Air Zero TV Ads Combined

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Former President Donald Trump’s picks for governor in five states are facing media scrutiny after failing to air a single television advertisement since winning their primaries.

In a report on Monday, The New York Times revealed that Pennsylvania candidate Doug Mastriano “is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on the air since May.”

“There’s no sign of cavalry coming to his aid, either: The Republican Governors Association, which is helping the party’s nominees in Arizona, Michigan and six other states, has no current plans to assist Mr. Mastriano, according to people with knowledge of its deliberations,” the paper added.

Matt Brouillette, the president of a conservative advocacy group, slammed Mastriano in remarks to the Times.

“I can’t even assess things because I don’t see a campaign,” Brouillette said. “I’ve not seen anything that is even a semblance of a campaign.”

According to the report, Mastriano’s lackluster campaign is not unusual among Trump’s preferred candidates.

“Along with Mr. Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Trump-backed candidates for governor in five other states — Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan — have combined to air zero television advertisements since winning their primaries,” the report said.

Over the weekend, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) vowed to campaign against Mastriano and other Trump-endorsed candidates who push lies about the 2020 presidential election.

“I think we have to do everything we can in ’22 to make sure those people don’t get elected,” she told the Texas Tribune Festival. “We have to make sure [Doug] Mastriano doesn’t win.”

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‘We Have Incredible Things’: Trump Surprised NYT Reporter Last Year by Boasting He Kept White House Documents

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Former President Donald Trump surprised New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman by casually mentioning that he had kept White House documents after leaving office.

The New York Times reporter revealed in her forthcoming book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” that the former president told her Sept. 16, 2021, at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, that he mentioned that he had held onto some government records that should have been sent to the National Archives, according to excerpts published by Axios.

“He demurred when I asked if he had taken any documents of note upon departing the White House — ‘nothing of great urgency, no,’ he said, before mentioning the letters that Kim Jong-un had sent him, which he had showed off to so many Oval Office visitors that advisers were concerned he was being careless with sensitive material,” Haberman reported.

Haberman expressed surprise that he took those letters, which he eventually returned months later after the National Archives demanded them.

READ MORE: Trump’s delay tactics pushed special master Dearie to respond with a ‘master stroke’ that helps the DOJ

“He kept talking, seeming to have registered my surprise, and said, ‘No, I think that’s in the archives, but … Most of it is in the archives, but the Kim Jong-un letters … We have incredible things,'” Haberman wrote.

The FBI searched Trump’s home last month at Mar-a-Lago, where they seized more than 11,000 documents and 1,800 other items, including about 100 classified materials — including some marked “top secret,” and the search warrant shows investigators believe he may have violated the Espionage Act and other laws.

 

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‘Pretty Big ‘A-Ha’ Moment’: J6 Staffer Reveals White House Switchboard Called Rioter’s Cell Phone During Insurrection

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On Friday, 60 Minutes revealed that Denver Riggleman, a key staffer for the House Select Committee on January 6, discovered the White House switchboard patched through to the phone of a Capitol rioter — while the attack was in progress.

“Riggleman, an ex-military intelligence officer and former Republican congressman from Virginia, oversaw a data-driven operation for the January 6 committee, pursuing phone records and other digital clues tied to the attack on the Capitol. He stopped working for the committee in April,” reported Keith Zubrow.

“You get a real ‘a-ha’ moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter’s phone while it’s happening,” said Riggleman to 60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker. “That’s a big, pretty big ‘a-ha’ moment.”

He added that “I only know one end of that call. I don’t know the White House end, which I believe is more important. But the thing is the American people need to know that there are link connections that need to be explored more.”

This comes after a series of damning revelations about the involvement and support of former President Donald Trump in encouraging the people storming the Capitol.

One of the biggest allegations to come out of the public hearings by the select committee was the claim by former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson that Trump demanded the rioters be allowed onto the premises because “they’re not here to hurt me” — and that he lunged at his security detail in the car after they refused to take him to the Capitol to join the attackers.

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