Appeals court rejects Bannon’s emergency request to remain free

A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected Stephen K. Bannon’s latest attempt to remain free while he exhausts his legal options to overturn his contempt of Congress conviction, leaving little chance he can further delay a prison sentence. four months in prison which is fixed. to start next month.

Mr. Bannon, a longtime Trump ally, was convicted in 2022 after ignoring a congressional subpoena seeking information about his role in the January attacks. 6 riots at the Capitol, but he was allowed to remain free while he pursued a lengthy appeal process. That ended this month when the judge in his case ordered Mr. Bannon to report to prison on July 1 after a federal appeals court upheld his conviction in May.

The three-judge appeals panel that denied Mr. Bannon’s emergency motion Thursday was split, 2-1, with Justice Justin R. Walker dissenting. Justice Walker noted that Mr. Bannon was asking the Supreme Court to review his case and wrote that he should remain free until it decides whether to hear his appeal.

Mr. Bannon’s lawyers have argued that his case involves important legal questions related to the separation of powers. At trial, they argued that Mr. Bannon was acting on the advice of lawyers who advised him to disregard former President Donald J. Trump’s executive privilege subpoena. Mr. Bannon had briefly served as Mr. Trump’s top policy adviser in the White House, but left that post well before the attack on the Capitol.

In the order, the court wrote that Mr. Bannon’s appeal was unlikely to succeed because the justices would have to significantly change the law as written to find that he did not intentionally reject the attempts by Congress to obtain his testimony.

“This provides no basis for concluding that a higher court is likely to upend the established understanding of the term ‘willfully’ in the context of a disregard for a clear obligation to respond to congressional subpoenas,” the court wrote. court.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court repeatedly rejected a request by Peter Navarro, another close ally of Mr. Trump, to avoid an identical sentence for contempt related to a subpoena issued by the House in January. 6 committee. Mr. Navarro had sought to appeal his case on grounds similar to those given by Mr. Bannon’s.

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