Trump ally Steve Bannon was ordered to report to prison on July 1 for contempt of Congress.

Washington — A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered Trump ally Steve Bannon to report to prison by July 1, granting the Justice Department’s request that Bannon serve his four-month prison sentence for that he is appealing his conviction.

In issuing his ruling Thursday, Judge Carl Nichols revoked Bannon’s bail and said he could “no longer conclude that” [Bannon’s] appeal raises a substantial question of law,” after a three-judge appeals court panel upheld the jury’s conviction of Bannon for contempt of Congress.

The ruling and timetable give Bannon’s lawyers nearly a month to appeal the revocation of his bail in higher courts. The defense team also plans to appeal his conviction to the full DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bannon’s legal team fought the Justice Department’s request to move forward with the prison sentence and argued that pursuing further legal review – potentially all the way to the Supreme Court – justified further delay in the execution of his prison sentence in order to receive the opinion of other courts.

A jury found Bannon guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress In 2022, after refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House Select Committee that had investigated the Jan. September 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Congressional investigators have looked into Bannon’s conduct in more than a dozen key areas, including his communications with former President Donald Trump as he resisted the results of the 2020 presidential election.

At the time, Bannon claimed he did not comply with the order because of executive privilege concerns raised by Trump and said his former lawyer advised him not to respond to the order. subpoena due to potential privilege.

Before the trial, Nichols — a Trump appointee — ordered Bannon not to inform the jury of his attorney’s opinion because of binding precedent that establishes a legal definition of willful failure to serve a subpoena. After his conviction, the judge sentenced Bannon to four months in prison, but delayed imposing the decision, concluding that it was “likely” that the conviction would be overturned.

Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Donald Trump, appears in Manhattan Supreme Court to set a trial date for May 25, 2023 in New York.

Curtis Means/Getty Images


Bannon’s defense later appealed the conviction.

Last month, an appeals court rejected his arguments and ruled that “defending Bannon with the advice of an attorney is no defense at all.” The three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the jury’s conviction and wrote that the defense it sought was “unavailable under this law.”

“Nothing in the Bannon jurisprudence relies on challenging the long-standing interpretation of the term ‘willfully’… as requiring a willful and intentional failure to respond to a subpoena,” the justices wrote last month in their review.

Still, the expediency committee ordered that its decision would not take effect until seven days after Bannon filed an appeal, leaving open the possibility for another court to delay the prison sentence again.

But the Justice Department took the case to Nichols’ court and asked the judge to lift the suspension of Bannon’s four-month prison sentence. Prosecutors argued there was no longer a “substantial question of law” since the conviction had been upheld.

Speaking in court Thursday, prosecutor Jonathan Crabb argued that the three-judge panel “wholeheartedly” approved the legal precedent that was applied during Bannon’s jury trial and, therefore, said that there was “no further substantial issue before the court.” court.”

The parties agreed that Nichols had the authority to decide the issue of Bannon’s bail, even though the appeals court had not yet returned the warrant to Nichols’ courtroom, but they did not are agreed on nothing else.

“The harm actually caused would be irreparable and unjust if the judgment, already fully executed, were subsequently overturned upon further review,” attorney David Schoen wrote in court papers. “There is no reason to consider removing the suspension of sentence pending appeal until the appeal process is completely completed,” he added.

Schoen argued Thursday that if Bannon were to be sent to prison, he would serve his sentence before a new sentencing review is completed.

“This case raises serious constitutional questions,” he argued, which should be decided by the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.

Nichols, however, disagreed and said the reasoning behind his initial decision to delay Bannon’s prison sentence no longer applied because the appeals court had ruled. He ordered Bannon to turn himself in by July 1, a decision that sparked audible disappointment from his legal team in the courtroom.

Bannon is not the only Trump White House official convicted of defying a House subpoena in January. 6 committee. Former trade adviser Peter Navarro is currently serving a four-month prison sentence after a Washington jury found him guilty of contempt.

Like Bannon, Navarro is appealing his conviction, but the judge in his case chose not to delay imposing the prison sentence, a decision that was upheld by higher courts.

Bannon was not in the White House during the final months of the Trump administration which was of interest in January. 6, but he continued to exert influence within the former president’s political base. Following Trump’s conviction on charges in New York state last week, Bannon had argued for retaliation if Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, took back the White House.

Speaking in court Thursday, Bannon said “this is about bringing down the MAGA movement, it’s about bringing down grassroots conservatives, it’s about bringing down President Trump.”

“There is no jail built and no jail that can ever lock me up,” he said, reiterating that they plan to take his case to the Supreme Court for review.

Jaala Browl, Priscilla Saldana and Lexi Jordan contributed to this report.

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