Appeals court rejects Steve Bannon’s request to stay out of prison

WASHINGTON — An appeals court on Thursday rejected former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s request to stay out of prison while he appeals his contempt of Congress conviction.

The three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals rejected Bannon’s request in a 2-1 decision, with two judges ruling that the arguments in Bannon’s request did not present a “substantial question of law » which could turn the situation around. his conviction.

“Bannon’s proposition – that to prove willful misconduct, the government must establish that the witness knew his conduct was illegal – cannot be reconciled with the Supreme Court’s approach to the statute,” it says. the order of Judges Cornelia Pillard and Bradley Garcia.

A third justice, Justin Walker, dissented, writing these arguments about Bannon’s state of mind when he refused to comply with a House subpoena in January. Committee No. 6 presented a “tricky question” that could be decided in Bannon’s favor by the Supreme Court.

“This sensitive issue could very well have mattered at Bannon’s trial,” Walker wrote.

Bannon was ordered this month to report to prison on July 1. In previous filings before the D.C. Circuit, his lawyers have expressed their intention to seek relief from the Supreme Court if the appeals court rules against them.

Bannon’s team unsuccessfully filed an emergency motion on June 11 asking the federal appeals court to overturn a lower court’s ruling that he must report to prison in July.

Bannon’s attorney, Trent McCotter, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.

A lawyer who previously represented Bannon, David Schoen, said he “dropped the case last Tuesday” after seeing that the motion in question had been filed, saying he “had nothing to do with the request”.

In May, an appeals court upheld Bannon’s conviction on two counts of contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena for documents related to the January attack on the Capitol. January 6, 2021. He was convicted in 2022 and sentenced to four months in prison.

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