Prior to going on recess, Judge Carl Nichols appeared inclined to rule that the October 2021 communications between the committee and Steve Bannon could be admitted at trial, but only if the portions of the letters discussing privilege are redacted.
“Those portion of the letters that discuss privilege aren’t to me plainly relevant right now,” Nichols said, noting that Mr. Bannon has not signaled an intention to argue that the return dates were in flux because there were ongoing discussions about privilege.
“The government should redact from the letters that it intends to introduce to its witnesses today any discussion of privilege altogether,” Nichols said.
He went on to lay out the specific portions of the letters that would need to be redacted, with prosecutor Amanda Vaughn also weighing in. As the redactions were being discussed, Bannon’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, interjected to say that he was concerned about “redactions on the fly.” Bannon’s team suggested that they had not yet settled on what they would proffer about why Bannon thought the return dates of the subpoenas were flexible.
What happens next: Judge Nichols wants the Bannon team to tell him by 1 p.m. ET what Bannon would argue on that point and whether Bannon could argue that discussions about executive privilege were one of the reasons he believed that the subpoena deadlines were still in flux. If Bannon was to make that argument, Nichols said, the October letters would likely be admissible in their entirety.