Steve Bannon Sentenced to Four Months in Prison for Contempt of Congress

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A U.S. judge on Oct. 21 sentenced Steve Bannon to four months in prison for contempt of Congress.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, handed down the sentence in a hearing in Washington.

Nichols also ordered Bannon to pay a fine of $6,500.

“I respect the judge, the sentence he came down with is his decision. I fully respect him,” Bannon, 68, told reporters after the hearing.

Nichols agreed to stay the punishment as Bannon lodges an appeal.

“It’s an extraordinary move to grant a stay pending appeal. It was the appropriate move,” said David Schoen, Bannon’s lawyer.

The appeal will center on Bannon relying on legal advice during his negotiations with the House of Representatives panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, Schoen said.

Bannon’s attorneys were barred from presenting that evidence during his trial.

Found Guilty

Bannon, a former top adviser to former President Donald Trump, was found guilty by jurors of contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions from or provide documents to the panel.

Prosecutors asked for a six-month sentence and a $200,000 fine for the two misdemeanors. Bannon’s attorneys said their client should not receive any jail time because he was relying on his legal counsel during negotiations with the House panel.

Bannon said he testified to a number of panels, including the Senate Intelligence Committee, showing he does not think he is “above the law” as some have alleged.

“Your honor, the defendant is not above the law and that is exactly what makes this case important,” prosecutor J.P. Cooney said during the hearing. “It must be made clear to the public, to the citizens, that no one is above the law.”

In the earlier cases, lawyers worked out privilege issues and then testimony took place, Bannon said. The House panel investigating the Capitol breach turned to the Department of Justice instead of continuing negotiations with Bannon.

As he walked into court on Friday, Bannon told reporters, “This illegitimate regime, their judgment day is on 8 November when the Biden administration ends.” Bannon did not speak during the hearing, saying only, “My lawyers have spoken for me, your honor.”

By Zachary Stieber

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