The prosecution rested its case on the second day of former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s contempt of Congress trial on Wednesday after the judge allowed a July 9 letter from former President Donald Trump into evidence.

The Trump missive waived executive privilege and gave Bannon permission to talk to lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

In allowing the letter into evidence, US District Judge Carl Nichols told the Washington DC jury they should not consider Bannon’s claim of confidential communications with the Republican as an excuse for non-compliance.

Bannon, 68, has claimed he dodged a subpoena from the panel for months because his former boss asked him not to cooperate. He recently reversed course and told lawmakers he would testify after receiving the letter.

The prosecution called only two witnesses. Panel staff director and general counsel Kristin Amerling told the court how the right-wing strategist ignored his September subpoena by invoking executive privilege. An FBI special agent also testified about Bannon’s defiance.

The defense said it planned to ask Nichols to dismiss charges against Bannon Thursday.

The prosecution rested its case on the second day of Steve Bannon's contempt of Congress trial
The prosecution rested its case on the second day of Steve Bannon’s contempt of Congress trial
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Bannon was an architect of Trump’s 2016 presidential victory before being fired as chief White House strategist less than a year later.

Investigators believe he attended a planning meeting the day before Trump supporters breached and ransacked the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s electoral victory.

Prosecutors contend Bannon has relevant information on “important activities that led to and informed” the riot.

The judge allowed a letter from former President Donald Trump waiving executive privilege for Bannon into evidence.
The judge allowed a letter from former President Donald Trump waiving executive privilege for Bannon into evidence.
Photo by SARAH SILBIGER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

If convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress, Bannon would face up to two years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty and argued that his charges are politically motivated.

With Post wires



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