Steve Bannon Wants Contempt Trial Delayed Until Just Before the Midterms

Steve Bannon's hopes to frustrate and delay the legal proceedings against him as much as possible continued as his lawyers attempted to push back the start date of his trial by several months to just before the start of the 2022 midterms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn, wrote in a joint status report filed on Monday by both parties that prosecutors were hoping for a speedy resolution in the contempt case against the Donald Trump ally, believing only one day of testimony in court will be required.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has set out a date in mind and has requested the trial to begin on or before April 15, 2022.

The former White House adviser's legal team has a different viewpoint. They wrote in the status report that the trial could last as long as 10 days due to the time it will take to cross-examine government witnesses, as well the number of witnesses that would be called in the defense case.

The government said it does not plan to call expert witnesses during Bannon's contempt trial.

Bannon's team is also requesting that the trial doesn't begin until October 2022 in order to give more time to review the evidence from the prosecution via "discovery" requests, in which prosecutors provide materials that they intend to use at an upcoming trial to the defense.

The delay tactics by Bannon's team could potentially further push the start of proceedings past the 2022 midterms election in November, where the GOP could win control of the House and end the select committee investigation into the January 6 attack.

The government also sought to impose a deadline of December 13, 2021, for Bannon's team to make further discovery demands to the prosecution team

The prosecution expected it would be able to reply to requests for documents within four days, but only because it anticipated that the materials would not be "discoverable, or are not in the possession, custody, or control of" the prosecution team.

Bannon's team said outlining their case will take "time and effort" given it raises "complex constitutional issues" involving relationships and operations of the government at its highest levels.

"There is no basis for having these issues adjudicated on a rushed basis," Bannon's lawyers said.

Bannon's team also argued that the "average life of a criminal case" in the District of Columbia's federal trial court is around one year.

Bannon was indicted in November on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas and refusing to answer questions from the House committee investigating the January 6 attack at the Capitol.

Prosecutors previously accused Bannon's defense team of attempting to delay proceedings by launching "frivolous" legal complaints.

Following a court appearance on November 15, Bannon warned that the charges against him will be the "misdemeanor from hell" for Attorney General Merrick Garland, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden.

"We're going on the offense," Bannon said. "They took on the wrong guy this time; they took on the wrong guys."

steve bannon trial
Former Trump administration White House adviser Steve Bannon departs the U.S. District Court after an appearance on November 15, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images