Bannon is advancing a high-stakes defense as he battles a case that could mean up to a year in federal prison and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted

As the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack was negotiating with Donald Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon to cooperate with its inquiry, the panel affirmed one of their rules: no third-party lawyers could attend witness depositions, The Guardian reports.

That meant when Bannon’s then-attorney asked whether a lawyer for Trump could be present for the closed-door interview to decide what issues were covered by the former president’s invocation of executive privilege, the select committee flatly refused.

Now, that refusal appears set to feature as one of Bannon’s central arguments to defend against his contempt of Congress indictment that came after he entirely skipped his deposition last October and refused to produce documents as required by his subpoena.

The former Trump aide is advancing a high-stakes – and arcane-sounding – defense as he battles the justice department (DoJ) in a case that could mean up to a year in federal prison and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted – but potentially defang congressional power should he prevail.

The all-or-nothing nature of the defense is characteristic of Bannon, a fierce defender and confidante of the former president even after he departed the White House seven months into the Trump administration after a turbulent tenure as his chief strategist.

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