By Jake Kaplan

Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:

The House select committee investigating the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol is ramping up the pressure on former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

  • Last week, Bannon defied the subpoena to testify before the committee. 
  • On Tuesday, the committee unanimously voted to recommend that the House of Representatives cite Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress for failing to comply with the subpoena.
  • On Thursday, the House voted in favor of citing Bannon and referring the case to the Department of Justice for potential prosecution.  The vote was 229-202, with nine Republicans joining the entire Democratic caucus in favor of the citation and referral.
  • It remains to be seen whether DOJ will act on this criminal referral. If DOJ charges Bannon with criminal contempt of Congress, a conviction would carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison. 

On Monday, jury selection started for the trial of three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man. 

  • Arbery was shot and killed on February 23, 2020, while he was jogging in a suburban Georgia neighborhood.
  • Months later, a Georgia grand jury indicted Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan on murder, assault, and false imprisonment charges.
  • The men are also facing federal charges: one count of a federal hate crime, one count of attempted kidnapping, and Gregory and Travis McMichael were additionally charged with using a firearm during the crime. The federal trial is expected to start in February.
  • The delay in bringing charges for the killing led to national outcry last year. In September, a grand jury indicted Jackie Johnson, the former district attorney who oversaw the case, on charges of violating her oath as a public officer and illegally preventing a police officer from arresting one of the defendants.