Lawyer bombshell: Trump never bothered to invoke executive privilege for Steve Bannon



Donald Trump’s lawyer has blown a huge hole in Steve Bannon’s claims to have been covered by executive privilege when he refused to testify before the January 6 select committee, dramatically raising the stakes in his upcoming contempt of Congress trial. .

Bannon has refused since last October to comply with a subpoena from the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 pro-Trump uprising, prompting the criminal charges against him. But his attorney, Bob Costello, announced Sunday night that Bannon would appear after all, after receiving a letter from the former president promising to waive executive privilege so his former White House aide could, in theory, make things clear.

In an explosive revelation in the early hours of Monday, DC prosecutors announced that Trump’s attorney, Justin Clark, had been interviewed by the FBI on June 29 and had confirmed that Trump had never invoked executive privilege to prevent Bannon. testify.

Additionally, in a motion filed with the US District Court for the District of Columbia, they argued that discussion of Bannon’s last-minute timing of coming to Jesus should be excluded from this criminal trial when it begins next Monday.

In his dealings with the January 6 Committee claiming executive privilege, Bannon’s attorney, Costello, had referred to a letter from Clark to support his claim of executive privilege. But according to the court motion, authored by Assistant US Attorney Amanda Vaughn, Clark not only confirmed that the privilege was never invoked, but said that Costello had “misrepresented” what Clark had told him and made it clear to the attorney. from Bannon who provided nothing. basis for failure to comply with the citation.

Vaughn noted that Bannon received an FBI report on the interview the next day, June 30.

“Defendant’s timing suggests that the only thing that has really changed since he refused to comply with the subpoena in October 2021 is that he is finally about to face the consequences of his decision to default,” Vaughn wrote.

He added: “Even the defendant’s assertion that the reason he is now willing to testify is because the former president is ‘waiving’ executive privilege is open to question given all the evidence and law that has been addressed in this case, of which you should be aware, showing that executive privilege never provided a basis for total breach in the first place,” he added.

Vaughn’s motion was formally filed in court on behalf of Michael Graves, who was sworn in last November as a DC federal prosecutor and was charged with overseeing hundreds of separate investigations on Jan. 6. Graves signed the explosive indictment against Bannon just a week later.

Bannon’s trial is scheduled to begin next Monday, and prosecutors want the court to pre-exclude “any evidence or argument” related to Bannon’s last-minute claim that he was now prepared to testify.

The broader implications of Clark’s answers in the FBI interview go far beyond the Bannon case, and again call into question the veracity of Trump himself, especially given his florid letter to Bannon on Saturday offering to formally waive executive privilege. that had never been invoked in the first place. .

The prosecutors’ memo went on to note that Costello, a longtime Trump attorney whose name is believed to have been removed from the Mueller Report, also worked for the former president and that his law firm is being paid by Trump’s super PAC.

“All of the circumstances described above suggest that the defendant’s sudden desire to testify is not a genuine effort to fulfill his obligations, but rather a last desperate attempt to avoid responsibility,” the memorandum concluded.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast’s biggest scoops and scandals delivered straight to your inbox. Register now.

Stay informed and get unlimited access to the unrivaled Daily Beast reports. Sign up now.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.