In what appears to be an unlikely alliance, several large media companies, including ABC, and CNN, are joining former President Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon's legal bid to release 1,000 files relating to his contempt of Congress case, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the report, more than a dozen media companies, including several of the larger concerns, want the documents in the case released as the government's prosecutors fight to keep them under seal.
Bannon was recently indicted for refusing to appear in front of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol and has pleaded not guilty in federal court.
Unarmed Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, a U.S. Air Force veteran, was shot and killed by Capitol Police in the chaos at the doors of Congress.
A proposed protective order would prohibit Bannon from publicizing some 1,000 documents, emails, and pages of testimony regarding the events of Jan. 6.
The report said the press groups believe the order would violate the First Amendment, while the government claims Bannon only wants to make the material public to "taint" the jury pool in his case and to end up trying the case in the media.
The order would stop Bannon and his lawyers from publicizing materials provided to them as part of the discovery phase of his case, including documents that could be "sensitive" in nature, according to the Daily Mail.
Once indicted, Bannon vowed to "go on the offensive."
"I'm telling you right now, this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for [Attorney General] Merrick Garland, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi, and [President] Joe Biden," Bannon said after pleading not guilty. "Joe Biden ordered Merrick Garland to prosecute me from the White House lawn when he got off Marine One, and we're going to go on the offense. We're tired of playing defense. We're going to go on the offense on this."
Government prosecutors, however, compared Bannon's legal challenge to "witness tampering."
"Allowing the defendant to publicly disseminate reports of witness statements will have the collateral effect of witness tampering, because it will expose witnesses to public commentary on their potential testimony before trial and allow a witness to review summaries of other witnesses' statements recounting the same event or events," the government wrote in its response to the challenge.
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