Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti broke down the legal issues the Justice Department will have to weigh after the House asked the DOJ to criminally prosecute Trump advisor Steve Bannon over his refusal to cooperate with an investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
“They have to weigh, first of all, whether or not there’s a federal interest in proceeding with this prosecution,” Mariotti said on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.”
“They also have to think about whether or not they have the evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt, and that is going to be very complicated in a case like this because there are circumstances that can make it difficult.”
Bannon has refused to turn over any evidence or to testify about his communications with former President Donald Trump leading up to the deadly insurrection. It’s now up to the Justice Department to decide whether it will criminally prosecute Steve Bannon.
Mariotti gave host Shepard Smith an example of conditions that would make it challenging for the DOJ to prosecute Bannon.
“If Mr. Bannon decided to plead the fifth, that would be a very good reason not to comply with a subpoena,” said the former federal prosecutor. “He, of course, hasn’t done so yet, but there are definitely risks for the Justice Department.”