Steve Bannon on trial for refusing to cooperate with Capitol attack investigation

Steve Bannon on trial for refusing to cooperate in the investigation into the attack on the Capitol

MISE À DAY

American justice begins on Monday the selection of jurors responsible for examining the refusal by Steve Bannon, a close associate of Donald Trump, to cooperate with the parliamentary inquiry into the assault on the Capitol.

A discreet but very influential adviser, he played a crucial role in the election of the Republican billionaire in 2016, by giving a resolutely populist turn to his campaign, before being pushed to the exit the next year.

The two men, who remained close, had exchanged in the days leading up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the headquarters of Congress, according to the House of Representatives committee responsible for shedding light on the role of the former president in this coup.

To find out the nature of their discussions, the commission subpoenaed Steve Bannon to testify and produce documents. He had refused, citing the right of presidents to keep certain conversations secret.

His refusal led to him being charged in November with “obstructing the investigative powers of Congress”.

As his trial approached, the 68-year-old had turned around and agreed to cooperate with parliamentarians. The prosecutors had denounced “a last-minute reversal in order to avoid” a conviction and the judge in charge of the case wished to maintain the trial.

His lawyers also requested, in vain, a postponement of the trial for fear that the jurors will be influenced by the broadcast of the hearings of the commission of inquiry, the next of which is scheduled for Thursday evening at prime time.

After more than a year of investigations , it will detail the day of January 6 as experienced by Donald Trump, “what has been done and what has not been done”, explained the elected Democrat Zoe Lofgren on the ABC channel on Sunday.

The Republican is believed to have done nothing for nearly three hours as his supporters swarmed the Capitol, sowing violence and chaos and forcing elected officials to halt certification of Joe Biden's victory at the presidential one.