Former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon’s criminal trial has been given a July 18th start date. Bannon is on trial for contempt of Congress charges after he defied a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The Hill reports:
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols said during a pretrial hearing that while he was not convinced by federal prosecutors’ efforts to accelerate the schedule, he did not believe that a trial should wait for nearly a year, as Bannon’s defense team had argued.
The judge acknowledged that his trial schedule is “still a long time in the arc of a criminal case” but said it’s necessary to address the legal and constitutional challenges that Bannon’s lawyers have vowed to raise.
“This is not really a way to suggest that I’m merely splitting the difference because that’s not what I’m doing,” said Nichols, who was appointed by former President Trump. “But I do think that the defendant’s proposal for an October trial date is too slow.”
“But I also think the government’s proposal for an April trial date doesn’t reflect adequately the arguments that will be presented whether they have merit or not.”
Bannon’s lawyers indicated they plan to bring an array of issues against the Select Committee and prosecution, including the Justice Department’s decision to prosecute.
The judge indicated he expects the trial to take approximately two weeks, concluding about three months before the start of the 2022 midterms.