Judge warns Bannon lawyers against turning Jan 6 trial into ‘circus’ – live

Jan 6 committee member says Trump attempting to witness tamper is ‘highly improper’

After months trying to have his trial delayed, far-right agitator and Trump ally Steve Bannon is now in court facing a charge of criminal contempt of Congress, with prosecutors arguing he simply “decided he was above the law” when refusing to comply with a subpoena from the 6 January select committee.

“This case is not about what happened on Jan. 6,” said assistant US attorney Amanda Vaughan in court. “This case is about the defendant thumbing his nose at the orderly processes of our government.”

Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani has been ordered by a judge to testify to the grand jury convened in Fulton County, Georgia to hear evidence on Donald Trump’s efforts to throw out Joe Biden’s victory in that state.

Tomorrow will see the eighth of the 6 Jaunary committee’s summer hearings, this one focusing on Mr Trump’s hours of inaction at the White House while a mob of his supporters violently attacked Congress.


Exactly who is the Secret Service protecting?

Did personal loyalty to Donald Trump blind the actions of some Secret Service agents.

Andrew Buncombe investigates.


Thursday’s January 6 hearing will focus on ex-president’s inaction during riot

The House January 6 select committee will use Thursday’s prime-time hearing — the last in the eight-part series it has been conducting since 9 June — to examine what former president Donald Trump did after his Secret Service detail returned him to the White House while a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in hopes of preventing certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

Andrew Feinberg previews the coming hearing.


Bipartisan legislation unveiled to prevent the next Jan 6

Following Donald Trump’s assault on US elections and attempts to subvert the peaceful transfer of power in the chaotic aftermath of his 2020 loss, a bipartisan group of senators has unveiled plans for legislation to block future candidates from trying to steal a presidential election.

The proposals from Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin – joined by more than a dozen other senators from both parties, after months of planning – would update an archaic 19th century law that Mr Trump and his allies sought to exploit by pressuring Mike Pence to block the certification of votes during a joint session of Congress to affirm Joe Biden’s election on 6 January, 2021.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward has the details.


Garland asked about possibility of charging former president

Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked about the possibility of charging a former president related to January 6 2021: “No person is above the law in this country.”


Garland asked about possibility of charging former president

Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked about the possibility of charging a former president related to January 6 2021: “No person is above the law in this country.”


Half of GOP voters would back Trump in 2024

As Donald Trump weighs whether and when to announce his official campaign for a bid at reelection in 2024, a recent poll suggests that he’s the favoured Republican nominee if the GOP primary were to be held today.

In a new poll conducted by Politico and Morning Consult, 53 per cent of respondents who identified as being Republican voters or leaning that way politically said they would vote for the former US president to represent the GOP ticket in 2024.

Johanna Chisholm reports.


Bannon trial: Jan 6 panel said executive privilege claim had ‘no basis in law’

Prosecutor Amanda Vaughn asked Kristin Amerling, deputy staff director and general counsel of the House January 6 committee about a letter from Robert Costello, a lawyer representing Steve Bannon, to the committee after a deadline saying his client could not comply with the subpoena due to the legal doctrine of executive privilege that can keep certain presidential communications confidential.

“The select committee’s position was this was not a valid rationale for refusing to comply,” Ms Amerling testified.

Ms Vaughn entered as evidence a letter sent by Committee chair Bennie Thompson stating that Mr Costello’s legal position on why Mr Bannon could not comply had “no basis in law”.

The judge previously ruled that Mr Bannon could not claim in the trial that he failed to comply because he believed his documents and testimony were protected by executive privilege.

The prosecution showed another letter from Mr Costello reiterating that, absent an agreement between the committee and former Preisdent Donald Trump or a court order, Mr Bannon would not comply with the subpoena.

The committee subsequently sent Mr Costello a letter saying it believed Mr Bannon had willfully violated the federal law regarding criminal contempt of Congress, and gave the former Trump adviser another chance to comply, but he did not.

Presentation of the prosecution’s case is not expected to last long. It is not yet clear what witnesses, if any, Mr Bannon’s defence team would call. His attorneys have pushed for permission to call Rep Thompson as a witness.

With reporting from Reuters


More Jan 6 hearings to come?

Aides to the January 6 committee suggest that Thursday’s hearing may not be the last one.

“There’s no reason to think this is going to be the select committee’s final hearing,” they said on a background call.


Bannon trial: Former Trump adviser snubbed Jan 6 panel says committee’s general counsel

A senior staff member of the congressional panel probing last year’s US Capitol attack testified on Wednesday that Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s prominent former presidential adviser, disregarded deadlines to respond to its subpoena, sought no extensions, and offered an invalid rationale for his defiance.

US District Judge Carl Nichols admonished defense attorney Evan Corcoran for interrupting Kristin Amerling during his cross-examination after the prosecution completed its questioning.

Ms Amerling, deputy staff director and general counsel of the Democratic-led House of Representatives select committee, was the first witness called by the prosecution. She said Mr Bannon missed multiple deadlines in October 2021 to provide documents and testimony under a subpoena issued the prior month and neither sought an extension nor told the committee he had no documents responsive to its request.

That testimony could complicate Mr Bannon’s defence. On Tuesday, Mr Corcoran told jurors that his client believed the subpoena deadlines were not set in stone and that negotiations between his attorney and the committee would continue.

Today, the defence pressed Ms Amerling on what role Bennie Thompson, the panel’s Democratic chairman, played in drafting the subpoena and setting its deadlines — an apparent attempt to suggest political motivations.

“What human set that deadline?” he asked Ms Amerling.

She testified that deadlines were formulated by senior committee staff including her, but that the ultimate decision rested with Rep Thompson, who possessed the legal authority to sign the subpoena.

Ms Amerling said the panel set deadlines requiring an “expeditious response” because it had reason to believe Bannon had relevant information.

With reporting by Reuters


Dominion says Fox News still hasn’t turned over records in lawsuit

Fox News executives and hosts have still not handed over records relating to a $1.6bn defamation lawsuit that accuses the network of spreading false claims that the 2020 election was rigged, according to a new court filing.

Dominion Voting Machines filed proceedings in…

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