when steve bannon was indictedIn September, a former Trump adviser claimed he was the target of a politically motivated prosecutor.
Bannon said that the Manhattan district attorney “decided to pursue fraudulent charges against me 60 days before the midterm elections,” adding that the criminal case against him was designed to influence the nation’s vote.
Trump has made similar claims about Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, publicly accusing him of biasagainst , But when lawyers for the Trump Organization indicated they might make a similar argument during the company’s recent trial, they were by the judge presiding over the case.
Judge Juan Marchan said on September 12, “I will not allow you to claim selective prosecution in any way, or claim that this is some kind of new trial.” law.
The same judge is presiding over Bannon’s case, which is expected to come up for hearing in November 2023.
Bannon was indicted on September 8 for his role in a group that promised millions to privately build a wall along the US-Mexico border, but instead allegedly siphoned off the funds. Bannon also faced a similarin 2020 but was during the final hours of his presidency. Presidential pardons do not apply to state charges, such as those filed by the Manhattan DA.
The company had two branches in the Trump Organization’s trialon 6 December out of a combined 17 counts related to criminal tax fraud. Susan Necheles, an attorney for the corporation, said the judge’s injunction against arguing political bias hindered the defense.
He said Bannon may face similar limitations.
“These are political matters. If they weren’t political matters they wouldn’t have been brought up, you know, and it’s kind of the elephant in the room,” Necheles said. “You are not allowed to talk about it, but there is a reason for bringing up the matter.”
Necheles noted that duringSeveral potential jurors — and some who were ultimately chosen to decide the case — expressed strong opinions about Trump.
Just before opening statements on October 31, Bragg praised Merchan, saying that he “runs an efficient courtroom.”
This was evident during early hearings in both the Trump Organization and Bannon proceedings, when Merchen laid out rules designed to limit defendants’ ability to throw out cases.
In the Trump Organization case, during a timely testy pretrial hearing on September 12, Murchan told Nechels and other attorneys that he was determined to start the trial on time.
“One of the accusations that the defense is trying to stop is, you know, it’s starting to feel a little bit off,” Marchan said.
In Bannon’s case, Merchen has already rejected attempts to extend the time before trial.
On October 4, Bannon’s lawyers asked for a year to go through the four terabytes of data and documents collected by prosecutors before filing their first motion in the case. Marchan gave him four months. They set a schedule including discovery – the process by which both sides exchange information – that would have the case ready for trial in a year.
And if Bannon’s side wants discovery, there’s a cautionary note in the Trump Organization case they may want to heed: In the most recent unsealed ruling from October 2021, Merchan failed to comply with prosecutors’ subpoenas. Contempt of company for stay. ,
Bannon is scheduled to appear before Marchen on January 12 for a hearing on discovery. Reached by phone, his attorney John Mitchell declined to discuss the hearing, saying he did not want to violate a September 19 order by the judge that broadly prohibits public disclosure of information related to the search. Is.
“I’m not really at liberty to discuss these things. We have some pretty strong protective orders in place and I’m not entirely sure what I can say,” Mitchell said.