Trump Lawyer Justin Clark Says Ex-President Never Bothered to Invoke Executive Privilege for Steve Bannon
Donald Trump’s attorney blew a big hole in Steve Bannon’s claim to have been covered up by executive privilege when he refused to testify before the selection committee Jan. his upcoming trial for contempt of Congress.
Bannon has refused since last October to comply with a subpoena from the House panel investigating the pro-Trump uprising on January 6, leading to criminal charges against him. But his attorney, Bob Costello, announced Sunday night that Bannon would finally appear – after receiving a letter from the former president promising to give up executive privileges to his former White House adviser. he could, in theory, set a record.
In an unfortunate revelation early Monday, DC prosecutors announced that Trump’s attorney, Justin Clark, was interviewed by the FBI on June 29 and confirmed Trump never invoked privilege. law enforcement to prevent Bannon from testifying.
Furthermore, in a filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, they argued that discussion of Bannon’s last-minute Jesus moment should be excluded from this criminal trial as it starting next Monday.
In his dealings with the Executive Committee on January 6, Bannon’s attorney Costello referenced a letter from Clark in support of his claim for executive privilege. But according to the court petition, written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn, Clark not only confirmed that the privilege was never invoked, but also said Costello had “misrepresented” what Clark said. told him and he made it clear to attorney Bannon that it did not provide. grounds for non-compliance with the subpoena.
Vaughn noted that Bannon was provided with an FBI report on the interview the next day, June 30.
“Defendant’s timing suggests that the only thing that has really changed since he refused to comply with the subpoena in October 2021 is that he is finally about to face the consequences of his decision to break the law. debt,” Vaughn wrote.
She added: “Even if the defendant states that the reason he is willing to testify is because the former President is ‘giving up’ the executive privilege of being the subject of questioning because all the evidence and the law has resolved in this case, in which he must Take Note, demonstrates that executive privilege never forms the basis of total non-compliance in the first place,” he added.
Vaughn’s motion is formally filed in court on behalf of Michael Graves, who was sworn in last November as United States Attorney for DC and is responsible for overseeing hundreds of separate investigations. on January 6. Graves signed the explosive indictment against Bannon just a week later.
Bannon’s trial begins next Monday and prosecutors want the court to preempt “any evidence or argument” related to Bannon’s last-minute statement that he was prepared to testify.
The broader implications of Clark’s responses in the FBI interview go far beyond the Bannon case — and again question Trump’s own honesty, especially his flowery delivery of the letter. to Bannon on Saturday offering a formal relinquishment of executive privileges that was never invoked in the first place. .
The prosecutors’ memo goes on to note that Costello, a longtime Trump attorney named despite being excluded from the Mueller Report, also worked for the former president and that his law firm was paid by Trump’s super PAC.
“All of the situations described above suggest that Defendant’s sudden desire to testify was not a genuine attempt to meet his obligations but a last-ditch attempt to shirk responsibility, ‘ the memo concluded.