In an interview with Fox News broadcast on Sunday, Bannon argued that Trump should push back the annual address so that he delivers it as an acquitted president, according to The Hill.
“He will be acquitted and exonerated. That should happen. And then he should do the State of the Union because the whole world will watch this,” Bannon said, suggesting that Democrats are pursuing impeachment for partisan reasons.
“President Trump’s got a great saying, ‘No games.’ This is all game playing by the Democrats. That’s got to be brought to an end.”
According to Bannon, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is holding up articles of impeachment because she wants Trump to deliver the State of the Union address as an impeached — but not exonerated — president, which would stain his legacy.
Pelosi, Bannon said, wants Trump to “have a State of the Union where there’s some uncertainty.”
“After it’s all over, after he’s been exonerated, then he goes before the world at the State of the Union and lays out the State of the Union and the state of this world,” the former White House adviser stressed.
Pelosi has indeed refused to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The top Democrat wanted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to commit to holding a fair and impartial trial, and to allow additional witnesses, such as former National Security adviser John Bolton.
Trump has said that he would be open to using executive privilege to block Bolton from testifying, and his allies in conservative media — including Fox News anchor Sean Hannity — have encouraged him to do so, urging Senate Republicans to speed through the trial.
McConnell has refused to accommodate Pelosi’s demands, however, openly stating that he will coordinate with White House lawyers during the entire process.
Pelosi appears to have caved. The stalemate between the two chambers of Congress is expected to end next week, according to reports.
According to the impeachment articles passed by the House, Trump committed multiple offenses during his contacts with the Ukrainian government when he allegedly pressured the country’s authorities to launch investigations into his political opponents.
Trump, Democrats claim, withheld military aid from the eastern European country in order to force it to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, who is one of the leading Democratic White House hopefuls.