As it neared the end of its shutdown, prosecutor Molly Gaston described Steve Bannon’s conduct as a betrayal of his civic duties and said he had “contempt” for the government and for upholding the rules.
“The defendant chose allegiance to Donald Trump over respect for the law,” Gaston said.
Earlier in her remarks, she went over the elements of the crime and pointed to the evidence presented by the government that she said satisfied each of them. She stressed that Bannon’s compliance was not a mistake, noting that a person who misunderstood the subpoena’s instructions or accidentally failed to follow it would have “spoken” when the committee put it. notice of the resolution for contempt.
“His belief that he had an excuse for not complying doesn’t matter, it’s not a defense against contempt,” she said.
She told the jury not to “fall for it” if Bannon’s attorneys tried to argue that subpoena deadlines weren’t firm.
“Mr. Corcoran tried to tell you this case is about politics,” she said, telling the jury that it was Bannon who was trying to make this case about politics and that he was doing this to “distract you.” .
Praising the jury for their service, she said “we are all participants in shared democracy, but the defendant disagrees.
“He despises our system of government and he doesn’t think he should play by its rules,” Gaston said. “The defendant chose the challenge, convict him,” she said.