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Jury selection begins in Trump aide Bannon trial

#Jury #selection #begins #Trump #aide #Bannon #trial

Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena to testify before lawmakers investigating the attack on the US Capitol.

Bannon, who oversaw Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign, was among dozens of people subpoenaed to testify about Trump supporters’ storming of Congress.

Bannon was indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to testify before a House committee investigating the violence.

His lawyers tried to delay the start of the trial so it would not coincide with the committee’s public hearings, but the judge refused last week.

Thousands of Trump supporters, many associated with ultranationalist and white supremacist groups, stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to block confirmation of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

They had been goaded by Trump in a fiery speech in which he repeated his false claims of voter fraud.

According to the House Inquiry Committee, Bannon spoke to Trump the day before.

Investigators believe Bannon and other Trump advisers may have information about links between the White House and the rioters.

After months of refusing to testify, Bannon finally agreed to cooperate with the investigation, a move prosecutors described as a “last-ditch attempt to evade accountability” by stalling his contempt trial .

Judge Carl Nichols ruled that it should go ahead anyway, saying, “I see no reason to extend this case any longer.”

If convicted of contempt, Bannon, 68, faces a minimum sentence of 30 days and a maximum of one year in prison.

He was Trump’s chief strategy officer in the White House before being fired in 2017.

Bannon has been charged with conspiracy to wire fraud and money laundering after allegedly defrauding thousands of donors for a campaign to fund Trump’s anti-migrant wall along the southern border.

In Trump’s final hours, he pardoned Bannon.

More than 850 people were arrested in connection with the attack on Congress. At least five people were killed and 140 police officers injured in the attack.

Trump was impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives after the riot – he was accused of inciting a riot – but was acquitted by the Senate.

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