Prosecutors, defense at odds over pace of Bannon contempt trial

Federal prosecutors and defense lawyers for Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonJan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official Jan. 6 panel releases contempt report on Trump DOJ official ahead of censure vote Meadows reaches initial cooperation deal with Jan. 6 committee MORE are already at odds over how quickly the criminal contempt case against the one-time Trump White House adviser should move.

During a virtual status conference on Thursday before a federal judge, Matthew Corcoran, one of Bannon's attorneys, said that the defense needs time to review evidence pertaining to the charges that his client defied a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 Select Committee.

Corcoran also suggested that the defense team would seek to gather records from the executive and legislative branches.

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"We're also going to have to obtain our own discovery, because, as you well know, the prosecution's universe of documents is not the end of the story," he said. "I believe that based on what was said, we're going to have to obtain documents on our own. And we're gonna have to do that both from the executive branch, but also from members of Congress, given the nature of the charges in the indictment. And that may take time."

The U.S. Attorney's office for D.C., which is prosecuting Bannon, argued that their case against him is simple and should not be bogged down with unnecessary pretrial maneuvering.

"In our view, this is a very straightforward case about whether or not the defendant showed up," Amanda Vaughn, one of the lead prosecutors, said in during the hearing. "And so we don't see any reason to delay setting a trial date in this matter."

Bannon has pleaded not guilty to the two misdemeanor contempt charges and vowed to fight the case.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols declined to set a trial date for Bannon during the hearing and ordered the parties to confer with each other and propose timelines by December 6, setting another status conference for December 7.

Nichols, a Trump appointee, indicated that he's still grappling with just how quickly the case should move.

"What I'm being presented with is on the one hand the government's position is that this case should go to trial very, very, very soon," the judge said. "On the other hand, Mr. Bannon's view is that a lot has to happen in this matter. It's not clear to me that either of those positions are quite correct."