NOT BUYING IT: Sparks Fly After Judge Calls Out Bannon’s ‘Bald-Faced’ Tactic To Delay Trial
The state judge overseeing the case called Bannon out on a bald-faced delay tactic for ghosting his legal team for months in order to slow down the New York case against him for his role in a fraudulent nationalist nonprofit that falsely promised to build a US-Mexico wall.
Justice Juan Merchan’s reprimand came after lawyer David Schoen revealed in court on Thursday that he hasn’t seen the far-right media figure for months.
“There is a direct breakdown in communications, so Mr. Bannon and his lawyers don’t communicate about this case directly,” Schoen revealed.
But Merchan saw through that defense strategy, citing legal precedent that makes clear a person can pick their own lawyer but not use that to setback a prosecution.
“Although a defendant has the constitutionally guaranteed right to be defended by counsel of his own choosing, this right is qualified in the sense that a defendant may not employ such right as a means to delay judicial proceedings,” Merchan read from a 1980 state appellate case. “Is this being done to delay official proceedings?” Merchan asked Schoen. Bannon’s lawyer demurred.
As reported by The Daily Beast, “the courtroom soon devolved into a shouting match, as the cool-headed judge had no patience for Schoen’s usual theatrics and lectures. At one point, Merchan cut off Schoen mid-sentence and ordered him and other lawyers to approach the bench for a private discussion—one that clearly ended badly.”
As they walked away from the judge, Merchan scoffed, The Beast noted.
“I’m sorry you feel like you were dragged into this courthouse,” the judge said sarcastically. “You and your client will be treated the same as any other defendant in this courthouse.”
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