As former White House chief strategist Steven Bannon looks to the appeals process following his sentence for contempt of Congress, he joined Fox News host Tucker Carlson to throw his support behind a move to “defund the FBI” and delivered a bleak prediction for the future of Attorney General Merrick Garland.
(Video: Fox News)
Hours after the former advisor to then-President Donald Trump was sentenced to four months in prison and a $6,500 fine Friday after his refusal to respond to the January 6 committee’s subpoena, Bannon appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” where he reiterated his respect for Judge Carl Nichols as he decried the Department of Justice under President Joe Biden.
As had initially been said outside the courthouse, he raised the impact voters could have in electing representatives equally fed up with a weaponized Justice Department and how the new Congress could begin to remedy the problem.
“The whole Justice Department under Merrick Garland has become radically partisan,” Bannon told Carlson before adding, “I strongly believe you’ll see Merrick Garland impeached next year by the new Congress.”
After Bannon conveyed the various avenues that the appeals process might take such as the structure of the Jan. 6 committee itself and concerns over executive privilege, the host asked, “What do you think this says about our system more broadly, however? I mean, you’re saying that you’re being sent to prison because you advised Donald Trump, politically. I mean, that doesn’t sound like a free country where something like that could happen.”
“It’s not free right now,” Bannon replied bluntly. “You see this whether it’s the FBI rolling up individuals praying in front of abortion centers or designating parents…at school board meetings…as domestic terrorists. The Justice Department is completely and totally out of control, and the FBI’s out of control. That’s why I’m a big believer in ‘defund the FBI.’ Use the appropriations process to defund both these apparatuses until they come to the table and we start cleaning out the rat’s nest.”
“I think the only way you’re gonna do it is you gotta start at the top,” Bannon detailed. “We gotta impeach [FBI Director Christopher] Wray and we gotta impeach Merrick Garland, after full investigations.”
Meanwhile, his attorney David Schoen joined CNN’s Jake Tapper where the questioning was more interested in assigning guilt over the testimony that Bannon would not give.
“So, this is about his contempt of Congress charge because the committee investigating January 6 wanted him to come and testify. And I think there are a lot of us who wonder,” Tapper argued, “why didn’t he just go before the committee and do what so many other potentially prosecutable suspects in this investigation have done…and just assert the Fifth Amendment for any answers that might incriminate him? I don’t understand why he didn’t just do that.”
“Because he’s Steve Bannon,” Schoen responded.
The lawyer then elaborated on his point, hinting at the way pleading the Fifth is portrayed especially when it comes to the partisan Jan. 6 investigation. “He doesn’t like the optic of taking the Fifth Amendment. I have said before that I tend to think I would advise any client appearing before this committee to take the Fifth, quite frankly, because I have real problems with the political composition of the committee.”
Bannon has publicly put his trust in his legal team when Carlson asked, “Are you satisfied with the response from elected Republicans to what’s happened to you? Is anyone sticking up for you do you think?”
“I think it’s fine. Look, elected Republicans, what they need to do now is focus on the eighth of November…To me, elected officials right now should just focus on winning and winning at the biggest wave we can. I can do this myself with my lawyers,” he stated. “I don’t need Republicans to have my back. What I want Republicans to do is, in the new Congress, is to focus on cleaning out the rat’s nest at DOJ and cleaning out the rat’s nest at the FBI.”
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