Judge orders Steve Bannon to begin prison sentence by july 1 amid ongoing appeals

Steve Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to provide documents and testimony to the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol.

Steve Bannon
A judge ordered Steve Bannon to report to prison by July 1.

A federal judge on Thursday ordered that Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Donald Trump, must begin his prison sentence by July 1, allowing him limited time to seek intervention from a higher court.

In 2022, Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to provide documents and testimony to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. He was sentenced to four months in prison.

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Judge Carl Nichols, initially paused Bannon’s sentence pending his appeal. However, last month, a DC Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously rejected Bannon’s appeals, prompting prosecutors to request that Nichols enforce the prison sentence.

On Thursday, Nichols stated that the basis for pausing Bannon’s sentence “exists no longer” following the appeals court’s decision. Nichols, a Trump appointee, concluded that he had the authority to lift the hold on Bannon’s sentence despite the ongoing appeal.

Following the hearing, Bannon vowed to contest his conviction “all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to.” He claimed without evidence that his prosecution was an attempt to “shut down the MAGA movement, grassroots conservatives, and President Trump.” Bannon defiantly told reporters, “There’s nothing that can shut me up…We’re going to win at the Supreme Court.”

During the hearing, Bannon’s attorney, David Schoen, argued for his client to remain out of prison until the Supreme Court reviewed the case. Schoen indicated that a request for the full DC Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case would be filed by June 24.

Prosecutor John Crabb countered that Bannon had not met the legal standards to stay out of prison while his appeal proceeded, referencing Peter Navarro, another ex-Trump adviser, who was denied a pause on his sentence for similar charges. Nichols noted that three appeals court judges had unanimously rejected Bannon’s arguments without any noted concerns about the precedent Bannon sought to challenge.

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With less than a month until Steve Bannon’s surrender date, he could still file emergency motions with the appeals court and the Supreme Court to delay his sentence further.

After the order was announced, Schoen attempted once more to persuade Nichols to keep Bannon out of prison, leading to a heated exchange with the judge.

Navarro is currently serving a four-month prison sentence following his 2023 conviction.

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