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Catching Up with the Steve Bannon Contempt Prosecution

In October 2021, the House of Representatives voted to find Trump associate Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress after Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. In November 2021, the Justice Department indicted Bannon, and the trial is currently scheduled to begin this summer. So what’s been happening in the interim?

To catch up, Quinta Jurecic spoke with Lawfare senior editors Roger Parloff and Jonathan David Shaub. Roger has been following the Bannon prosecution closely and wrote about it in a recent Lawfare article—and Jonathan has written a great deal on Lawfare about the Office of Legal Counsel’s positions on executive privilege, including how they might affect prosecutions for contempt of Congress. Bannon recently filed a motion to dismiss, making the argument that he believed Donald Trump’s supposed invocation of executive privilege made it unnecessary for him to comply with the subpoena—relying heavily on memos from OLC. What should we make of Bannon’s arguments? How is the Justice Department navigating a legally tricky situation? And what, if anything, might this case tell us about the other contempt of Congress cases coming out of the Jan. 6 committee, which the Justice Department has yet to bring?

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6/26/2022

Chatter: Misremembering Watergate and Jan. 6 with Tim Naftali

Chatter, a podcast from Lawfare, features weekly long-form conversations with fascinating people at the creative edges of national security.This week on Chatter, Shane Harris talked with historian Tim Naftali about the legacy of Watergate and how we tell stories, fifty years later, about America’s most notorious presidential scandal. What is it about Watergate that still captures our attention? What do historians, journalists, and citizens misremember about the events? And how does the scandal shape our understanding of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol?Naftali was the first federal director of the Richard Nixon library and earned accolades from historians—and criticism from Nixon loyalists—for his efforts to truthfully tell the story of Watergate in the Nixon museum. Naftali has written about intelligence, counterterrorism, national security, and the American presidency in the modern era. He is currently a professor at New York University.Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad. Learn more and subscribe to Chatter.Among the works discussed in this episode:Naftali’s recent article in The Atlantic about a controversial proposal from the National Archives on presidential librariesNaftali on TwitterNaftali’s book on the secret history of U.S. counterterrorism, “Blind Spot”