BREAKING: Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Trump, sentenced to four months behind bars for defying Jan. 6 committee subpoena. https://t.co/soaguw94eY
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 21, 2022
… U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols allowed Bannon to stay free pending appeal, a potentially lengthy process, and also imposed a fine of $6,500 as part of the sentence. Bannon was convicted in July of two counts of contempt of Congress: one for refusing to sit for a deposition and the other for refusing to provide documents…
“In my view, Mr. Bannon has not taken responsibility for his actions,” Nichols said before he imposed the sentence. “Others must be deterred from committing similar crimes.”
The House panel had sought Bannon’s testimony over his involvement in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Bannon has yet to testify or provide any documents to the committee.
Prosecutors argued Bannon, 68, deserved the longer sentence because he had pursued a “bad faith strategy” and his public statements disparaging the committee itself made it clear he wanted to undermine their effort to get to the bottom of the violent attack and keep anything like it from happening again.
“He chose to hide behind fabricated claims of executive privilege and advice of counsel to thumb his nose at Congress,” said prosecutor J.P. Cooney.
“Your honor, the defendant is not above the law and that is exactly what makes this case important,” Cooney said. “It must be made clear to the public, to the citizens, that no one is above the law.”
The defense, meanwhile, said he wasn’t acting in bad faith, but trying to avoid running afoul of executive privilege objections Trump had raised when Bannon was first served with a committee subpoena last year. The onetime presidential adviser said he wanted to have a Trump lawyer in the room, but the committee wouldn’t allow it…
Prosecutors had pushed for the maximum fine, saying Bannon refused to answer routine questions about his income and insisted he could pay whatever the judge imposed. The judge, though, found the short answers were an effort to spare court staff a lengthy effort of tracing Bannon’s finances and imposed a smaller fine.
Bannon has also argued that he had offered to testify after Trump waived executive privilege. But that was after the contempt charges were filed, and prosecutors say he would only agree to give the deposition if the case was dropped.
Bannon is also facing separate money laundering, fraud and conspiracy charges in New York related to the “We Build the Wall” campaign. Bannon has pleaded not guilty…
Judge Nichols has agreed to stay Bannon's prison sentence for the moment, pending a "timely" appeal.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 21, 2022
The Sentencing Guidelines that govern recommended sentences are really low for the crime of criminal contempt. So this govt position sadly seems light but in fact is pretty aggressive but entirely reasonable. https://t.co/5madA3CVaP
— Andrew Weissmann ?? (@AWeissmann_) October 17, 2022
The six-month recommendation from DOJ is at the upper end of what Bannon’s guidelines called for on the two misdemeanor charges. He faces a minimum one-month sentence. https://t.co/ubkizq1OR9
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 17, 2022
DOJ: "The Defendant requests probation: but that is an unlawful sentence under the plain terms of the contempt of Congress statute — the statute mandates a minimum term of imprisonment of one month."
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) October 21, 2022
To his followers and fans, Steve Bannon shows false bravado – that he is a martyr willing to go to jail for their MAGA cause. But in court, he begs for mercy and uses every procedural gimmick to try and delay and obstruct. I don’t think he ever thought he would go to jail.
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) October 21, 2022
Reporter: Reaction to Steve Bannon news?
Dark Brandon: "I never have a reaction to Steve Bannon." pic.twitter.com/HO7QaGGflg
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 21, 2022
Wow — Bannon lawyer David Schoen just tore into Trump counsel Justin Clark: “He is nothing but a thug. I wouldn’t believe a thing he says, one of what one might call the Three Stooges… He has lied to me personally. He has ripped me off personally.”
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) October 21, 2022
Bannon: You promised me I wouldn’t go to jail again.
TFG: Sorry Steve, I had no other choice than to throw you under the bus. pic.twitter.com/9Q4tfkwb6D
— Dutchy Patrick (@DutchyPatrick) October 21, 2022