FOR FLOUTING THE HOUSE IN JAN., LAW STEVE BANNON WAS SENTENCED TO 4 MONTHS IN PRISON. 6 PANEL
Expand this picture Author: Nathan Howard
switch to caption Author: Nathan Howard Author: Nathan Howard Former Trump political advisor Steve Bannon has been given a four-month prison term and a $6,500 fine for criminally disobeying Congress, according to a judge. As Bannon is not expected to leave or present a threat to the community, the court says he is willing to allow him to remain free while he files an appeal against his convictions.
Bannon disregarded requests from the panel looking into the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, for papers and testimony. The House Select Committee’s members were curious as to why he had declared that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow” the day before the siege.
The “severe” punishment sought by federal prosecutors was six months in prison and a $200,000 fine. They claimed Bannon used “a bad faith strategy of defiance and contempt” in court documents filed earlier this week.
The sentence was given by U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols as Bannon sat motionless and showed no reaction.
In decades, no one has been imprisoned for disrespecting Congress. The Justice Department made the extraordinary decision to disclose a number of bombastic and disparaging remarks Bannon made about the legal system and politicians in its court brief.
He referred to Bennie Thompson, the D-Mississippi chair of the House Select Committee, as “gutless,” and claimed the panel was holding a “show trial.” Bannon targeted those he viewed as his political adversaries using his conspiracy-theory-heavy podcast.
Prosecutor J.P. Cooney stated that Bannon failed to comply with the probation office prior to his sentence and declined to provide the Jan. 6 committee with even one piece of documentation.
‘This is going to be the misdemeanor from hell for Merrick Garland, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden,’ Bannon said reporters after his indictment last year.
That wasn’t how things worked out. Bannon had no defense at his July trial, and a jury found him guilty in less than three hours.
According to Bannon’s attorneys, a sentence that includes jail would be inappropriate because he didn’t think he had broken the law. Instead, they assert, Bannon was adhering to counsel from his prior attorney.
Should someone who has spent their entire life listening to experts—as a naval officer, investment banker, business leader, and advisor to the President—be put in jail for following the counsel of his lawyers? Attorneys for Bannon Evan Corcoran and David Schoen submitted a court document.
Until an appeal, Bannon had wished to remain free. Additionally, there were some indications that Judge Nichols would accept Bannon’s case prior to sentencing. According to a 60-year-old legal precedent, the DOJ only needs to demonstrate that Bannon made a conscious decision to disobey and not that he did so for an unlawful reason, the judge had voiced concern about this.
In the past few decades, nobody has been imprisoned for disobeying Congress.
LAW After prosecutors determined that Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, and Dan Scavino, a deputy, had offered some cooperation to congressional investigators, the Justice Department decided not to press charges against them this year.
However, it appears that Peter Navarro, a former Trump trade adviser, will go to trial in November on misdemeanor criminal contempt charges for also failing to appear before the panel on January 6.
In contrast to Bannon, who left the White House in 2017 following a disagreement with Trump, Navarro stayed on staff for the government for several years. In his defense, Navarro cites Justice Department documents that safeguard the private advice that presidents’ advisers provide as well as Trump’s authority to claim executive privilege.