Twelve jurors decided in three hours to convict one man on two federal charges of contempt of congress.
Former presidential adviser Stephen Bannon Friday talked about it with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Carlson asked Bannon how he felt about going to jail, further enquiring if he would feel safe there.
“First off, if I go to jail, I go to jail,” replied Bannon. “I will never back off a second. Look, I spent eight years as a naval officer, I’ve committed my life to this program to get this done. I will never back off.”
“I support Trump and the Constitution and I’m not backing off one inch,” the adviser to former President Donald Trump added. “If I go to jail, so be it. But look, we have a long appeals process.”
Bannon opined the law is on his side in a number of situations and believes the legal arguments will be decided in appellate courts or higher. He expressed 100 percent confidence he is right about the law involved and vowed to fight it all the way, presumably to the Supreme Court.
The Fox host asked Bannon if he planned to call former Attorney General Eric Holder or former IRS official Lois Lerner and ask them “How did you beat this?”
Holder is famously the first sitting U.S. Attorney General to be charged with contempt of Congress. The Justice Department at the time refused to prosecute their boss, claiming xxecutive privilege. Lerner was the central figure in a scandal about whether IRS agents improperly targeted conservative political groups. Federal prosecutors refused to criminally charge her with contempt of Congress.
In fact, the last time a congressional contempt charge was prosecuted was during the Reagan administration — a case the government lost. Before that, you would have to go back to the Watergate era of the Nixon administration for a case of congressional contempt that the Justice Department prosecuted.
Bannon told Carlson he knew why he was being treated differently than the two high-profile Democrats who snubbed their noses at subpoenas issued by Republican lawmakers.
“The special sauce is they’re in power,” Bannon explained.
Trump’s former adviser seemed sanguine about possibilities of prison, saying he believes he will prevail upon appeal. He noted the judge presiding in his case denied all the defenses his lawyers planned to present in his defense. Bannon explained that is why they presented opening remarks and closing remarks but offered no defense.
He had planned to call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and members of the House J6 Committee to show the committee had been created contrary to established House rules. He argued that rendered the committee illegitimate, which makes any subpoenas issued by them invalid.
The judge told his attorneys they could not raise that as a defense during his trial. They raised other issues they considered extenuating or exculpatory but the judge kept using his favorite word: No.