Judge orders Steve Bannon to report to prison July 1 for contempt of Congress sentence

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Thursday ordered former Trump adviser Steve Bannon to report to prison July 1 to begin a four-month prison sentence for defying Jan. 1 subpoenas. 6 Committee after a higher court rejected his appeal.

Bannon was convicted of two counts of contempt of Congress in July 2022 for defying committee subpoenas, but his sentence had been stayed while he appealed the case. U.S. District Judge Carl said Thursday he did not believe the “original reason” for his stay of imposition of Bannon’s sentence existed any longer after an appeals court upheld Bannon’s conviction . Bannon could still appeal Nichol’s decision that he must report to prison.

Bannon was sentenced more than a year and a half ago, in October 2022, to four months in prison, the same sentence currently being served by former Trump advisor Peter Navarro, who also refused to comply with a January sentence. 6 Subpoena from the committee.

“The defendant chose allegiance to Donald Trump over respect for the law,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston, now part of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team, told jurors during closing arguments in 2022.

Bannon’s sentence was stayed pending appeal, and his lawyers made their arguments before a three-judge federal appeals court in November. Court appeals upheld Bannon’s conviction in May, and federal prosecutors quickly filed a motion asking Nichols to order Bannon to report to prison. Federal prosecutors told Nichols there was “no legal basis” for upholding the sentence after the federal appeals court rejected the appeal.

Bannon’s lawyers argue that the sentence should be stayed until they appeal to the full appeals court and the Supreme Court. Of course, any delay would benefit Bannon if Trump is elected president in November and calls the shots — just as he did on the last day of his presidency in January. 20, 2021 – to pardon Bannon on federal criminal charges.

Bannon smiled as he went through security to enter the courthouse Thursday morning. Someone nearby said “Trump ’24!” » » and Bannon smiled and shook his hand.

Following the judge’s decision, he looked calm and remained smiling. Bannon’s lawyer, David Schoen, sprung into action, becoming much more passionate than he had been during the rest of the hearing.

Judge Nichols told him, “One thing you have to learn as a lawyer is that when the judge has made his decision, you don’t stand up and start yelling,” adding through protests de Schoen: “I’ve had enough. »

“I’m not shouting,” Schoen retorted, calling himself “passionate.”

“You send a man to prison who thought he was following the law, we don’t do that in my system,” Schoen said, calling the decision “contrary to our system of justice.”

“I think you should sit down,” Nichols replied.

Nichols, a Trump appointee, oversaw a number of projects in January. 6 cases. This is the judge who threw out the government’s use of an obstruction of an official proceeding charge, which was used against hundreds of people in January. 6 accused, as well as Trump himself. That case ultimately made it to the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on the use of the law in April. On Wednesday, Nichols was sentenced to January. 6 accused who attacked law enforcement officers with bear spray – and was arrested thanks to a sting operation launched by a woman on the dating app Bumble – for more than six years in a federal prison.

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