On his way into the hearing, Bannon, looking worse than usual, made the ridiculous claim, “I want to appreciate the J6 committee cancelling today. You know why? Their ratings stink and they can’t compete with the trial of Bannon, OK? That’s why they canceled.”
I don’t know how the people around him, including the man who held up a “FAILED COUP” sign just behind Bannon, didn’t burst into laughter.
As far as I can tell, Bannon’s hearing was not televised. That’s probably because his loss was pretty much a given. He’ll now have to face trial for refusing to cooperate with the January 6th committee.
NBC News’ Pete Williams explains:
WILLIAMS: [Bannon’s] lawyers were asking the judge to dismiss the contempt of Congress indictment against him. And the judge has just said, “No, I am not going to do that.”
So, they had several theories. They said the committee was not properly constituted. Now, this is a claim that many people who are fighting subpoenas from the committee have raised. It’s been a complete non-starter so far in the courts.
Secondly, he said there’s a long-standing Justice Department policy that says former administration officials at the high level are immune from congressional subpoena when a president exerts executive privilege. What the judge said here is, well, the contempt citation deals entirely with Bannon’s activities as a private citizen not as a government official and that former President Trump never asserted executive privilege over what the committee wants from Bannon. He made some other claims – he said the law is unconstitutional as it applied to him.
And the judge rejected all of those claims.
Bannon’s trial date is July 18th.