Rep. Loudermilk files legal brief supporting Bannon’s Supreme Court appeal

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), in conjunction with the Trump-aligned America First Legal, filed an amicus brief Wednesday in support of Steve Bannon’s Supreme Court emergency appeal.

It is the latest show of support for Bannon from top House Republicans as he fights his contempt of Congress conviction, following top House GOP leaders saying they will also file a legal brief in support of Bannon’s appeal efforts.

Bannon has been ordered to report to prison July 1 after being convicted of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Bannon has asked the Supreme Court to avoid prison as he appeals the conviction in court in Washington, D.C.

Republicans have long argued that the actions of the Jan. 6 select committee did not follow the House rules and were therefore illegitimate, but have so far not been successful in court when making that argument.

That is the basis, though, of the argument from Loudermilk — who is the chair of the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, which is investigating the actions of the Jan. 6 panel that Republicans boycotted in the last Congress.

“The Select Committee failed to comply with the rules governing its own procedures. Therefore, the prosecution of Mr. Bannon for failing to appear for a deposition is invalid, as is any criminal prosecution,” Loudermilk said in a statement. “My amicus brief will hold the Select Committee accountable and nullify their deeply flawed work conducted outside the bounds of legitimacy.”

America First Legal, a group headed up by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, filed the brief on behalf of Loudermilk. Dan Epstein, the organization’s vice president, said in a statement that the indictment of Bannon “lacks a legal foundation” because of the select committee’s alleged violations of House rules.

Among the arguments made in the Loudermilk legal brief is that the committee could not properly conduct depositions because it did not have a ranking member appointed by the Republican leader.

Then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had appointed Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) to be the ranking member of the Jan. 6 select committee, but then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blocked Banks and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) from sitting on the panel.

In response, Republican leaders refused to sit any members on the committee, and Pelosi appointed Trump-critical Republican Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) to sit on the panel, therefore championing it as bipartisan — which Republicans disputed.

It is not the only show of support for Bannon from leading Republicans in the House.

Earlier Wednesday, the House’s top GOP leaders announced that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group — a bipartisan group made up of the top five House leaders that directs the chamber in taking legal positions — voted along party lines to proceed with an amicus brief to the federal court in D.C. that’s hearing Bannon’s appeal.

“It will withdraw certain arguments made by the House earlier in the litigation about the organization of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol during the prior Congress,” Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) said in a joint statement. “House Republican Leadership continues to believe Speaker Pelosi abused her authority when organizing the Select Committee.”

And Banks has also encouraged the Speaker to support Bannon’s Supreme Court appeal.

The Department of Justice filed its response to Bannon’s Supreme Court action Wednesday, arguing Bannon ”cannot make the demanding showing necessary to override the normal requirement that a convicted defendant begin serving his sentence.”

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