Steve Bannon Sent To Prison

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

Steve Bannon’s criminal conviction was upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday. The 2022 decision finding the former Trump adviser guilty of contempt of Congress was upheld. Following a protracted legal struggle, the ruling may result in Bannon, who is currently 70 years old, being imprisoned. He was found guilty in 2022 of withholding testimony and supporting documentation from the House committee looking into the Capitol hack on January 6.

Bannon has seven days to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for a rehearing in spite of the decision. For the time being, the court has not mandated that his four-month prison sentence—which also included a $6,500 fine—be implemented immediately.

The court’s newest member, Circuit Judge Brad Garcia, wrote the unanimous ruling, finding that Bannon had provided “no persuasive argument” for his defiance of the subpoena and had “deliberately refused to comply with the Select Committee’s subpoena in that he knew what the subpoena required and intentionally did not respond.” Garcia stated, “Bannon disregarded the subpoena, and his disobedience was deliberate.”

Garcia went on to explain in the 20-page ruling that Bannon was not permitted to invoke the defense of “advice of counsel,” which he had claimed should absolve him of responsibility for his acts as he was acting on the advice of his lawyer. “Our decision in Licavoli directly rejects Bannon’s challenge,” Garcia said, restating the legal principle that willfulness is defined as purposeful non-compliance.

“In this appeal, Bannon does not dispute that he deliberately refused to comply with the Select Committee’s subpoena in that he knew what the subpoena required and intentionally did not respond; his nonresponse, in other words, was no accident,” the court document wrote. “Instead, Bannon challenges the contempt of Congress charges on the ground that he reasonably believed—based on advice of counsel—that he did not have to respond.”

The appeals court rejected a number of additional arguments put out by Bannon’s legal team, such as the assertion that Bannon was carrying out instructions from the legal team of former President Trump and that the committee subpoena was defective in procedure because of its makeup.

“Trump did not communicate an intent to invoke executive privilege to the Committee, and Bannon never raised executive privilege as an affirmative defense to the contempt charges in district court.”

Bannon’s January 5 podcast prediction that “all hell is going to break loose” on the day of the breach prompted the committee, which was entrusted with looking into the January 6 breach, to request papers and evidence from him. Bannon has also been involved in conversations on attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 election.

The Supreme Court rejected Peter Navarro’s appeal, and the 74-year-old former Trump White House trade adviser started serving his prison sentence in March. Under the guidance of former Steve Bannon lawyer Robert Costello, he had ignored subpoenas from the House select committee, citing executive privilege as his argument. Federal prosecutors maintained that Bannon’s activities as a private citizen were not covered by presidential privilege, notwithstanding his contentions.

The defense said that Bannon thought his actions were legal because Trump had allegedly asserted executive privilege. Nevertheless, the committee was not explicitly informed of this privilege, and Trump’s counsel had made it clear that this protection did not exist. Bannon is still free on bond while he considers his options. If he is unable to appeal the decision, he may soon have to serve time in prison for his unwillingness to assist the committee.


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