As she neared the end of her closing, prosecutor Molly Gaston described Steve Bannon’s conduct as a betrayal to his duties as a citizen, and said that he had “contempt” for the government and for playing by the rules.
“The defendant chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance to the law,” Gaston said.
Earlier in the remarks, she went over the elements of the crime and pointed to the evidence the government presented that she said satisfied every one of them. She stressed that Bannon’s compliance was not a mistake, noting a person who had misunderstood the directions of the subpoena or had not followed it by accident would have “spoken up” when the committee put him on notice for the contempt resolution.
“His belief that he had an excuse not to comply does not matter, that is not a defense to contempt,” she said.
She told the jury to not “fall for it” if Bannon’s lawyers tried to argue that the subpoena deadlines weren’t firm.
“Mr. Corcoran has tried to tell you that 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 that to “distract you.”
Praising the jury for their service, she said “we are all participants in shared democracy, but the defendant does not agree.
“He has contempt for our system of government and he does not think he needs to play by its rules,” Gaston said. “The defendant chose defiance, find him guilty,” she said.