Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon ordered to report to prison to begin contempt sentence

Steve Bannon, a long-time ally of Donald Trump, must report to prison by 1 July to start a four-month sentence, a judge has said.

Bannon was convicted of contempt in 2022 for refusing to appear at a committee investigating the Capitol riots, and for not providing documents about his involvement with Trump's efforts to overturn the election.

He vowed to fight the latest ruling, telling reporters outside court: "I've got great lawyers, and we're going to go all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to."

Bannon was an adviser to Trump during his first election campaign and became chief strategist when he won the White House - but quit in August 2017.

On Thursday, federal judge Carl Nichols granted a Justice Department request to force Bannon to start his sentence.

Judge Nichols - who was nominated by Trump - had initially allowed Bannon to remain free while he challenged the conviction.

However, he U-turned after prosecutors urged him to revoke Bannon's bond following an appeals court ruling last month that upheld his conviction.

At his 2022 trial, Bannon's lawyer said the charges were politically motivated, denied he had ignored the subpoena to appear, and said Bannon was still negotiating with the congressional committee when he was charged.

His lawyer in the current case, David Schoen, told the judge it would not be right to jail him now as he would finish his sentence before he exhausts his avenues of appeal.

He said the case raised "constitutional issues" that the Supreme Court should consider.

"In this country, we don't send anyone to prison if they believe that they were doing something that complied with the law," Mr Schoen told reporters.

Another Trump aide, trade adviser Peter Navarro, began a four-month sentence for contempt in March.

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He claimed he had been unable to co-operate with the congressional committee because Trump had invoked his executive privilege as president, making him uncertain about what documents and testimony he could provide.

Bannon also cited this as a reason for his non-cooperation.

However, courts rejected Navarro's argument because they said he could not prove Trump had invoked his privilege.

The final report into the 6 January 2021 Capitol attack concluded Trump engaged in conspiracy to overturn the election and failed to stop his supporters storming the building.