Dershowitz to Newsmax: ‘Judge Took Bannon’s Defenses Away’

Dershowitz to Newsmax: 'Judge Took Bannon's Defenses Away' Dershowitz to Newsmax: 'Judge Took Bannon's Defenses Away' Steve Bannon exits court with his lawyer on July 22, 2022. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

By Charles Kim | Saturday, 23 July 2022 10:30 AM EDT

Constitutional lawyer, and Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School, Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax Saturday that Stephen Bannon, adviser to former President Donald Trump has a good chance to get his criminal contempt of Congress conviction overturned because the “judge took his defenses away.”

“There was never a chance he could be acquitted for two reasons,” Dershowitz said during “Wake Up America” Saturday. “First, in the District of Columbia, 80%-90% of the people hate Trump or anybody who worked with him. Number two, the judge took away all of his defenses.”

Bannon, 68, was found guilty of two contempt of Congress counts this week for not appearing to testify in front of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, protest and riot at the U.S. Capitol, the New York Times reported July 22.

The jury in the case reached a verdict within three hours, finding that Bannon did not comply with a subpoena for testimony issued by the committee in September 2021.

He was scheduled to testify by Oct. 14, 2021, but did not appear, and was later indicted in November 2021, on two counts of contempt.

“I stand with Trump and the Constitution,” the Times reported Bannon saying outside the courthouse following the verdict. “I will never back off that.”

He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Carl J. Nichols sometime in October, according to the report.

“His defense was [Bannon] believed that [he] had an obligation not to speak to the committee because of executive privilege,” Dershowitz said. “He may have been right, he may have been wrong, but the Congress should have gone to the court's first, and get an order from a court, and then he would have been properly prosecuted, but [to go] immediately to prosecution is ‘Alice in Wonderland’ justice.”

Bannon’s lawyer, Evan Corcoran said during closing statements that there was no need for Bannon to testify in his own defense because Judge Nichols rulings during the trial “gutted” his defense of claiming executive privilege, and refused to hear testimony from witnesses including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., according to the Associated Press.

Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and ranking Republican Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., called Bannon’s conviction “a victory for the rule of law and an important affirmation of the Select Committee’s work.”

“Just as there must be accountability for all those responsible for the events of January 6th, anyone who obstructs our investigation into these matters should face consequences,” they said. “No one is above the law.”

Dershowitz said the case “is far from over,” and that Bannon “has a good shot” of getting the conviction overturned at either the appeals court, or supreme court level.

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