Politics

Jan 6 Subpoenas And The Prosecution Of Steve Bannon — The REST Of The Story

Given the choice, Corporate Media (which doubles as the AV department of the DNC) would have already sent Steve Bannon to the Chair for defying Pelosi.

But anyone who’s paying attention knows not to take their reporting at face value.

Here’s what most people already know. Pelosi and Co are turning over every rock looking for some way to smear Trump and his allies for ‘orchestrating an insurrection’ in which, curiously, not a single person has been charged with the crime of insurrection.

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In the process, they are busy slapping subpoenas on everyone and his dog.

Some have publicly refused to comply with the subpoenas and supply what has been demanded.

Even CNN has noted that Garland was in a difficult spot because there is every appearance that this situation has become politicized.

Asked whether people who resisted subpoenas to testify before the January 6 committee should be prosecuted by the Justice Department, Biden said: “I do, yes.”
While Justice quickly released a statement that emphasized it makes “its own independent decisions in all prosecutions based solely on the facts and the law. Period. Full stop,” the damage had been done. —CNN

Garland, shameless partisan that he is, opted to press charges. Which is a strange decision for a former judge (and ‘former future Supreme Court Justice’) to have made, considering the circumstances.

Bannon was indicted on one contempt count for refusing to appear for a deposition before the committee and a second count for refusing to produce documents. The House voted on Oct. 21 to hold Bannon in contempt, leaving it up to the Justice Department, headed by Garland, to decide on bringing charges. —Reuters

Garland tried to dress up his decision as some sort of a heroic defense of justice.

“Since my first day in office,” he droned, “I have promised Justice Department employees that together we would show the American people, by word and deed, that the Department adheres to the rule of law, follows the facts and the law, and pursues equal justice under the law. Today’s charges reflect the Department’s steadfast commitment to these principles.” —National Review

It was anything but that. Bannon’s legal counsel, David Shone, who helped Trump in the first impeachment process, was a guest on Mark Levin’s show and explained what the Corporate Media left out of the story.

This story all hinges on the idea of privilege. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp when you think of it in terms of how it protects a private citizen.

If you have private conversations with your doctor or lawyer you have final control of who has access to that information. If your legal firm or medical clinic were approached by a muckraking political operative, they do not have the authority to divulge any of your personal information.

More than that, information between a lawyer and a client, for example, is beyond the reach of even a subpoena except in the rarest of circumstances, for example, if the communication itself is implicated in a criminal act.

Presidents have similar privacy protections with their official advisors so that they can be free to thoroughly discuss and understand difficult situations without fear of those conversations becoming part of the public record. Without such protections, advisors would not feel as though they are free to speak freely, and may give politically correct advice rather than a straight answer.

Records are sealed and Executive Privilege is retained for years after the fact. That privilege, much like the legal or medical examples we gave earlier, is retained by the executive whose confidence is being kept, not the advisor he was discussing it with.

That brings us up to speed so we can understand what happened with respect to Bannon’s arrest.

When the subpoenas were given, President Trump invoked executive privilege. Trump’s legal counsel sent a letter to Bannon’s lawyer directing Bannon not to appear, and not to turn over any documents because privilege has been invoked.

It the case of Privilege being invoked, it isn’t Bannon who gets to decide whether he should do so or not. It’s the responsibility of a court, not Steve Banon or Merrick Garland, to sort out which claim over that disputed information takes priority.

There is clear precedent for past Presidents invoking privilege.

What did Bannon say to the Jan 6 Committee? Far from defiantly raging at them, as the charges might suggest he told them, very reasonably, that once the privilege issue is resolved with President Trump OR a court orders him to produce the documents, he will comply fully.

This was an instance of Bannon respecting the rule of law even if an investigation gone rogue is running roughshod over Constitutional checks and balances. And for that, Bannon, not his inquisitors, face a possible prison sentence.

There have been Office of Legal Counsel opinions directly on this kind of scenario, that they are not to subpoena Executive branch and even former Executive branch people for this sort of thing.

Bannon had asked for a representative of the person who has invoked privilege present so that he can, make item-by-item objections as necessary.

The key people in this investigation kangaroo court or Soviet-style show trial have all demonstrated their assumptions of Trump’s guilt in this case, and Republicans who would have been more even-handed and impartial where blocked from participation.

We all knew what conclusions would be published on the day that Committee was first formed.

But now that there is a criminal case, Bannon will most likely get to subpoena members of Congress as part of discovery.

And won’t the revelations that come from that be interesting?

Cross-posted with Clash Daily

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