Steve Bannon Sentenced To 4 Months For Contempt Of Congress

The former Trump adviser was convicted in July for defying the House Jan. 6 committee's demand for records related to the attack.

Former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months and fined $6,500 on Friday after previously being found guilty of acting in contempt of Congress in a legal saga that began more than a year ago.

Prosecutors had asked the federal court in Washington, D.C., to send Bannon to prison for six months and fine him $200,000.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, noted Bannon’s lack of remorse before handing down his ruling, according to reports from the scene. Nichols reportedly told the court that others must be deterred from similarly flouting congressional authority.

The sentence, however, will be stayed to give Bannon’s team time to file an appeal, allowing Bannon to walk free for now. If he does not file an appeal, he will need to surrender by Nov. 15.

Outside the courthouse before the proceedings began, Bannon decried the “illegitimate regime” of President Joe Biden.

“Their judgment day is on 8 November, when the Biden administration ends,” he told reporters gathered outside the building, which does not allow cameras inside.

Bannon declined to make a statement in court on his own behalf. He walked out of the building to a crowd of protesters and shouts of “Traitor!”

Bannon had been called to turn over communications and other documentation to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, and to appear before the panel for a deposition. He refused, and the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress late last year.

In July, a federal jury found him guilty on two contempt charges, one for the documents and one for the testimony.

While Bannon’s tenure as an official adviser to Trump was short-lived ― he lasted less than a year in the White House in 2017 ― he was speaking with Trump as the president clung to power in the wake of losing the 2020 election.

Bannon’s was among the earlier subpoenas issued by the Jan. 6 committee, on Sept. 23, 2021. He argued that he could not cooperate because Trump was attempting to use executive authority to shield the documents, even though he is no longer in office and the current administration has declined to invoke executive authority on Trump’s behalf.

Judge Nichols noted that Bannon refused to cooperate with the congressional committee even after Trump offered to drop his claim of executive privilege in July. At the time, Bannon’s attorneys claimed that their client “preferred” to cooperate with the panel.

The committee has now spoken to more than 1,000 witnesses.

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