Bannon’s Attorney Reveals Why Bannon Defied Subpoena

( The attorney representing Steve Bannon in his Contempt of Congress case is citing former President Donald Trump’s executive privilege as the reason Bannon defied the subpoena from the January 6 Select Committee.

David Schoen, who previously represented the former President in his second impeachment trial, told CNN’s “New Day” host Brianna Keilar after Bannon was subpoenaed, his lawyer received a letter on behalf of former President Trump instructing Bannon not to appear before the select committee and not to turn over documents because Trump was invoking executive privilege.

Schoen explained that once the former president invoked privilege, Bannon “had no choice.” He said if Bannon had complied with the subpoena, despite Trump’s executive privilege claim, the “genie is out of the bottle and it can’t be put back in.”

Schoen said Bannon’s previous attorney had suggested to the select committee if Bannon were to appear before them, he should be free to invoke privilege on a question-by-question basis. But the committee refused to accept those terms.

Schoen believes Bannon shouldn’t be prosecuted for contempt over not responding to the subpoena. He argued that Trump can invoke executive privilege even though he is out of office.

Keilar challenged Schoen’s position by pointing out that not all of the committee’s questions to Bannon would be covered by Trump’s privilege since they involve conversations with people who aren’t Donald Trump.

Schoen conceded that there are always questions that have to do with both privileged and non-privileged communications. But he insisted that the court should decide whether Bannon can be criminally charged. He questioned the legitimacy of having a political committee investigating the Capitol riot at all, arguing that what is called for is a “fair and open-minded investigation.” But the committee is made up of highly partisan actors “who have prejudged the issue.”

Schoen couldn’t say if Bannon even possesses the documents the January 6 committee is seeking since he had just joined the case over the weekend.

Keilar asked if President Trump was responsible for Schoen taking Bannon’s case, which Schoen denied. He said he was contacted by someone on behalf of Steve Bannon and former President Trump had nothing to do with it.