Steve Bannon's lawyers tried to delay contempt case

Former Trump Administration White House advisor Steve Bannon speaks to the press on his way out of federal court on November 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Bannon was charged on Friday with two counts of contempt of Congress after refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Former Trump Administration White House advisor Steve Bannon speaks to the press on his way out of federal court on November 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Bannon was charged on Friday with two counts of contempt of Congress after refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Photo credit Getty Images

A federal judge has set a July 18 date for Steve Bannon’s contempt trial, even though his defense team attempted to push it to October of next year.

While the July date reported by NBC News is earlier than the Oct. 17 date Bannon’s lawyers requested, it is later than the U.S. government hoped. According to CBS News, the government was aiming to hold the trial by mid-April.

Prosecutors want the trial to be speedy, with a single day of testimony, said the outlet. Bannon’s representatives, on the other hand, want the trial to last 10 days.

Bannon, who was a top aide to former President Donald Trump, was charged with contempt after refusing to produce documents for or be interviewed by a House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. For the upcoming contempt trial, the government has asked Bannon’s team to make discovery requests – requests for evidence – by Dec. 13.

CBS News said the government expects to be able to respond to the requests within four days, as the prosecution doesn’t believe it will have the records.

A status conference for Bannon’s trial was scheduled Tuesday. His team and the Washington D.C. U.S. attorney’s office filed a status report late Monday at the request of the court with their trial expectations.

In the status report, Bannon’s team said it expects to seek information from “many sources,” including the U.S.
Department of Justice; “other executive branch components,” such as the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bannon’s lawyers also argued that the average criminal trial in the D.C. District Court last around one year and that this case has “complex constitutional issues” involving the relationships between the branches of government at its highest levels. They also said they expect a need for expert discovery.

“Expert discovery is the period of time during which the parties exchange information about what the experts will say. This exchange usually occurs by deposing the experts. Expert discovery in complex cases can last several months,” said G. Eric Nielson & Associates law firm.

“We don't need ten months to do this,” said U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols.