The Lawfare Podcast: Catching Up with the Steve Bannon Contempt Prosecution

Jen Patja, Quinta Jurecic, Roger Parloff, Jonathan Shaub
Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With
Brookings

In October 2021, the House of Representatives voted to find Trump associate Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress after Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. In November 2021, the Justice Department indicted Bannon, and the trial is currently scheduled to begin this summer. So what’s been happening in the interim?

To catch up, Quinta Jurecic spoke with Lawfare senior editors Roger Parloff and Jonathan David Shaub. Roger has been following the Bannon prosecution closely and wrote about it in a recent Lawfare article—and Jonathan has written a great deal on Lawfare about the Office of Legal Counsel’s positions on executive privilege, including how they might affect prosecutions for contempt of Congress. Bannon recently filed a motion to dismiss, making the argument that he believed Donald Trump’s supposed invocation of executive privilege made it unnecessary for him to comply with the subpoena—relying heavily on memos from OLC. What should we make of Bannon’s arguments? How is the Justice Department navigating a legally tricky situation? And what, if anything, might this case tell us about the other contempt of Congress cases coming out of the Jan. 6 committee, which the Justice Department has yet to bring?


Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Quinta Jurecic is a fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a senior editor at Lawfare. She previously served as Lawfare's managing editor and as an editorial writer for the Washington Post.
Roger Parloff is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. In recent years, he has regularly contributed to Yahoo Finance and Air Mail News, and has also been published in The New York Times, ProPublica, New York, and NewYorker.com. For 12 years, he was the main legal correspondent at Fortune Magazine. He is an attorney who no longer practices. He is a senior editor at Lawfare.
Jonathan Shaub is a contributing editor to Lawfare and an assistant professor of Law at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law. He formerly served in the U.S. Department of Justice as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel and as a Bristow Fellow in the Solicitor General's Office.

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