CNN has issued a request for a hearing on their Motion to Intervene in the case of the United States v. Steve Bannon. They seek to make public the documents that the Department of Justice has in the case, documents that Bannon also wishes to make public, but has been restricted from publicizing.
Bannon, who is currently held in contempt by the Biden administration's Department of Justice, has been limited by a federal judge in how he can use documents obtained by the DOJ in the case against him. Judge Nichols heard arguments from the prosecution that the order of protection was needed, and granted that order.
The Motion to Intervene reads that the "Press Coalition," helmed by CNN, "respectfully request that the Court schedule a hearing" on the motion. They state that despite the protective order, "the legal issued presented in the Press Coalition's Motion to Intervene remain unresolved."
"Specifically," it reads, "the Protective Order does not find, and the Government has not demonstrated, a 'reasonable likelihood of prejudice' absent restrictions on Defendant's republication of discovery materials, or that no 'less restrictive alternatives' would adequately mitigate any perceived harm."
In defense of their motion to expose the documents that Bannon, too, wants exposed but that the DOJ prefers to keep locked behind a protective order, CNN's attorney's from the law firm Ballard Spahr write that the revelation of the documents is important for "issues of transparency, the public interest, and the Constitution."
Bannon had said that he intended to "use the documents to make the case 'hell' for Democrats," according to Bloomberg. As a result, Nichols prohibited Bannon from revealing the documents. But CNN wants them, and their Motion to Intervene is an attempt to get them.
It's an odd state of affairs where both Bannon and CNN want the same documentation revealed.
Nichols' order states that Bannon and his attorneys "shall not disclose the materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense." They are further barred from publicizing "any notes or records of any kind that they make in relation to the contents of the materials."
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