The prosecution’s witness in the criminal contempt of Congress case against former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon was in a book club with a member of the prosecution team.
Kirstin Amerling, the House Jan. 6 Committee’s deputy staff director and chief counsel, testified under cross-examination on Wednesday that she previously worked with Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston while on staff for former Rep. Henry Waxman, California Democrat, more than a decade ago.
Ms. Gaston is one of the two prosecutors on the Bannon case.
Since serving on Mr. Waxman’s staff, the two have participated in a book club whose members are comprised mostly of current and former Democratic staffers on Capitol Hill, Ms. Amerling testified.
Mr. Bannon’s lawyer, Evan Corcoran, elicited the testimony from Ms. Amerling under cross-examination in which he asked questions about Ms. Amerling’s political leanings.
Ms. Amerling said that throughout her two-decade career as a staffer on the Hill, she has worked for Democrat lawmakers and personally donated to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
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Ms. Amerling testified to the FBI that she was not partisan.
Mr. Bannon, 68, is on trial for criminal contempt of Congress after defying the Jan. 6 committee’s demands for documents and deposition in its probe of the Jan. 6, 2021, pro-Trump riot at the Capitol.
He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of contempt of Congress. He could spend up to two years behind bars if convicted on both counts.
Mr. Bannon, who hosts the news and opinion broadcast “War Room: Pandemic,” insists the charges against him are politically motivated.