Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:
The Department of Justice is reportedly investigating former President Donald Trump’s role in the January 6th attack at the Capitol and other efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
- DOJ has been conducting an investigation into January 6th since last year, but most of the Department’s overt steps in the investigation have pertained to individuals who breached the Capitol or engaged in violence on January 6th. This is the first indication that prosecutors are scrutinizing Trump’s role in the attack, as reported by the Washington Post.
- According to the Post’s sources, there are two lines of inquiry in the Trump probe. The first concerns seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. Similar charges have already been brought against Capitol rioters, including the leaders of far-right extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. The second line focuses on fraud against the United States for involvement in the fake, pro-Trump electors scheme and the attempt to pressure officials to overturn the election results.
- The Post also revealed that, in April, investigators reviewed phone records of former Trump White House aides, including Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff.
- Earlier in the week, it was reported that two aides to Vice President Mike Pence, former chief of staff Marc Short and former chief counsel Greg Jacob, testified before a federal grand jury in the investigation. Preet Bharara and Joyce Vance discussed the progress of the investigation on this week’s episode of CAFE Insider.
A federal jury in Washington, D.C. convicted Steve Bannon on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a January 6th Committee subpoena.
- A jury indicted Bannon in November 2021, after he refused to comply with a subpoena to testify and provide documents to the Committee. Bannon served as the Trump administration’s chief strategist in 2017, but his involvement in the planning for January 6th has come under scrutiny since the Committee revealed that he twice spoke on the phone with Trump on January 5th, 2021.
- At trial, which only lasted a few days, prosecutors argued that Bannon flagrantly disobeyed the subpoena. Bannon’s “failure to comply was deliberate. It wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t a mistake. It was a choice,” assistant U.S. attorney Amanda Vaughn said at trial. Bannon’s team did not present any evidence in his defense.
- Bannon will be sentenced in October. He is facing at least one month in jail, but he could receive a sentence of up to two years.
Week In a Nutshell is part of the free weekly CAFE Brief newsletter.
Sign up free to receive the CAFE Brief in your inbox every Friday: cafe.com/brief