The contempt of Congress case against former President Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon is "not a close case," according to legal expert Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax, who added Bannon is justified to not go in front of the House Jan. 6 committee.
"It's not even a close case," Dershowitz told Tuesday's "Spicer & Co." "Steve Bannon could not show up in Congress. He had no right to do that when he was told by the president that the president was invoking privilege."
Dershowitz said the committee should have gone to court in the first place to get a ruling before even subpoenaing Bannon to testify in front of the committee investigating Jan. 6, where a U.S. Capitol security chief shot an unarmed Trump-supporting woman veteran.
Dershowitz said if you currently asked 10 judges about executive privilege, such as Trump is invoking in this case, five would say the privilege should stand, and five would decline it.
"It's not an appropriate case for an indictment," he said. "It's an appropriate case for bringing an injunction or a declaratory judgment."Bannon, 67, who had left the White House long before Jan. 6, was indicted Friday for ignoring the committee's subpoena. According to the Department of Justice press release, he was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress by a federal grand jury.
"As detailed in the indictment, on Sept. 23, 2021, the Select Committee issued a subpoena to Mr. Bannon," U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia said in the release. "The subpoena required him to appear and produce documents to the Select Committee, and to appear for a deposition before the Select Committee. According to the indictment, Mr. Bannon refused to appear to give testimony as required by subpoena and refused to produce documents in compliance with a subpoena."
He surrendered to law enforcement Monday and was released without bail following his first court appearance.
"I'm telling you right now this is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden," Bannon told reporters, referencing the U.S. attorney general, the House speaker, and the president. "We're going to go on the offense on this and stand by."
If convicted, Bannon could face 30 days to a year in jail and a fine of between $100-$100,000 for each count, according to the DOJ.
"Disobeying a congressional subpoena from wholly partisan committee should not be, and is not, a crime," Dershowitz said.
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