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US judge denies Steve Bannon’s latest effort to delay contempt trial

Washington

A federal judge in the US capital on Tuesday rejected Steve Bannon’s latest request to delay the start of his trial on charges of criminal contempt of Congress.

According to multiple reports, a third move on Bannon’s part has been delayed by a month. He previously served as former President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist and is a longtime ally of the former commander-in-chief.

Bannon, 68, faces two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by a House of Representatives committee investigating a rebellion at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.

One complaint related to the rejection of his appeal and the other related to his decision not to produce documents.

He faces three months to one year in prison for each count.

Jury selection begins Monday in Washington, D.C. District Court. But it’s been a slog as attorneys try to choose the 14 D.C. residents who will be on the jury, with two options, a process known as apprehension.

Dozens of potential jurors have already been dismissed from a pool of 60 over concerns about bias, according to media reports. The process could be completed by Tuesday itself.

Bannon’s attorneys said last week that he would be willing to testify after claiming executive privilege when he refused to speak to a House committee despite not having worked at the White House since 2017.

A legal team of conservative strategists sent a letter to the committee saying Trump has waived his executive privilege claim and that Bannon is now “willing, indeed willing, to testify at your public hearing.”

The committee wants to interview Bannon at the Willard Hotel in Washington on January 5, 2021, the night Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a failed attempt to stop US President Joe Biden from taking office.

The Willard, which is a block from the White House, was the scene of Trump’s “war room” where loyalists of the former president worked around the clock to come up with a strategy to overturn the November 2020 election, which Trump lost by more than 7 million votes.

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