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Judge denies trial delay for former Trump aide Steven Bannon on Jan.6 contempt of Congress charges


Steve Bannon, talk show host and former White House advisor to former President Donald Trump, arrives to U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., June 15, 2022.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

A federal judge on Thursday once more denied former Trump advisor Steve Bannon’s try and delay his trial on criminal contempt of Congress charges stemming from the House investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Bannon’s trial is about to start Monday, after Judge Carl Nichols of U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., rejected a motion from Bannon to delay it until at the very least mid-October.

“We’re still going to be at trial on Monday,” Nichols said, NBC News reported from the courthouse.

Bannon’s attorneys had argued in a court filing Wednesday that the massive amount of publicity ahead of the trial raised the chance of prejudice against him among the many jurors to be chosen to listen to his case.

They noted that CNN is scheduled to air a one-hour documentary on Bannon on Sunday evening, the day before the trial is about to begin.

Nichols on Monday had rejected a previous bid by Bannon’s lawyers to postpone the trial by three months. Bannon’s attorney in that effort had argued that media coverage of the House hearings would harm his right to a good trial.

In that very same hearing, the judge also ruled that Bannon couldn’t argue at trial that he didn’t comply with the subpoena on the grounds of executive privilege, and limited who he could call as witnesses. The rulings gutted Bannon’s defense strategy — prompting one in all his lawyers to reportedly ask in court, “What is the point in going to trial here if there are not any defenses?”

Bannon didn’t appear within the Washington courtroom on Monday or Thursday.

Bannon, who served just seven months as a top White House adviser to former President Donald Trump, faces at the very least 30 days in jail if convicted of the 2 contempt charges he faces for refusing to cooperate with the House select committee’s probe of the Capitol riot.

That is developing news. Please check for updates.

— CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

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