Trump Advisor Bannon Loses Motion to Delay His Trial on Contempt Charge

July 12, 2022 by Tom Ramstack
Trump Advisor Bannon Loses Motion to Delay His Trial on Contempt Charge
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon arrives at the FBI Washington Field Office, Monday, Nov., 15, 2021, in Washington. Bannon surrendered to federal authorities to face contempt charges after defying a subpoena from a House committee investigating January’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON — Former Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon lost out Monday in his attempt to delay his trial for contempt of Congress until mid-October.

He said in his petition to U.S. District Court that recent hearings of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol created an “unprecedented level of prejudicial pretrial publicity.”

Bannon is scheduled for trial July 18. He offered to testify to Congress in exchange for prosecutors dropping the contempt charges against him.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols responded that Bannon’s offer of cooperation was a “last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability” on the charges.


“I see no reason for extending this case any longer,” Nichols said after a hearing in which he rejected several of Bannon’s defenses.

Bannon asked for the continuance after shocking testimony this month by former White House staff member Cassidy Hutchinson, who directly implicated former President Donald Trump in the Jan. 6 violence. 

Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena from the committee, which led to the criminal contempt charge against him.

“When trial was scheduled [in January], neither the court nor the parties were aware of the June and upcoming July media blitz by” the House select committee’s hearings, said Bannon’s motion to U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.


Bannon helped lead Trump’s 2016 campaign for president and served on his White House staff as a political advisor. The House select committee wanted him to sit for a deposition and turn over any of his documents related to the Jan. 6 attack, where Trump supporters tried to prevent Congress from certifying a presidential election win for Joe Biden.

The committee turned its attention to Bannon after his podcast mentioned Trump’s Jan. 6 speech on the White House Ellipse in the days before the event.

On his Jan. 5, 2021, podcast, Bannon said, “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow.”

Bannon said in his motion to the court that the media frenzy evidenced by television ratings of the recent committee hearings show he could never get a fair trial now.

The judge said any publicity from the congressional hearings was unlikely to make it harder to find an unbiased jury for Bannon’s trial.

Each of the two contempt charges Bannon faces carries a possible sentence of 30 days to one year in jail.


The case is U.S. v. Bannon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Tom can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @tramstack.

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