Steve Bannon's judge says he refuses to allow the trial to be a 'political circus'
Steve Bannon's judge refused to allow the trial to become a "forum for partisan politics."
- Bannon's defense team questioned the motives of House members in holding the Trump ally in contempt.
The federal judge presiding over Steve Bannon's trial pledged Wednesday to prevent the high-profile proceeding from turning into a "political circus."
"I do not intend for this to become a political case, a political circus, a forum for partisan politics," Nichols said.
Nichols' admonition came on the third day of Bannon's trial, which began with prosecutors objecting to the defense team's apparent effort to inject politics into the case. Bannon was indicted in November on a pair of
In opening arguments on Tuesday, Bannon's defense lawyer
"Politics is the lifeblood of the US House of Representatives," Corcoran said. "Politics invades every decision that they make."
The opening arguments were followed by testimony from the
Bannon's defense attorneys had hoped to summon lawmakers — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — to face questioning at the trial, but Nichols quashed a subpoena for their testimony. Arguing against the subpoena, House general counsel Doug Letter said, "It seems clear that Mr. Bannon's trying to turn this into some kind ofpolitical circus."
On Tuesday, Bannon emerged from the courthouse and sharply disparaged the House January 6 committee for sending a staff member rather than a lawmaker to testify at his trial. He described the House committee's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, as a "disgrace" and said the panel's members lacked the "guts" to appear at the trial.
In Nichols' courtroom, prosecutors did not raise Bannon's commentary outside the courthouse.
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