Steve Bannon Begs Supreme Court to Spare Him From Jail

Rebecca Cook/Reuters
Rebecca Cook/Reuters

Steve Bannon made a long-shot attempt to avoid prison on Friday, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to pause his case as he fights his conviction for contempt of Congress on which he was sentenced to four months in jail.

“Applicant Mr. Bannon seeks the narrow relief of continued bail pending completion of his further appeals,” a court filing on behalf of the Trump ally and adviser and far-right activist said.

“Absent relief Mr. Bannon will be forced to serve his entire term before this Court has the opportunity to review that issue.”

The filing came shortly after a federal court in Washington, D.C., turned down Bannon’s latest appeal.

Bannon was Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016 and chief White House strategist in 2017 until being forced to leave in the aftermath of a deadly far-right march in Charlottesville, Virginia, that the president was slow to disavow.

Steve Bannon Still Won’t Shut Up Even as He’s Ordered to Jail

Bannon’s legal troubles have mounted.

In January 2021, two weeks after the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s supporters—part of election subversion efforts in which Bannon was closely involved—Bannon received a pardon from Trump on federal charges of duping donors to a campaign to build a southern border wall.

In 2022, the same “We Build the Wall” effort produced state fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy charges against Bannon in New York. That trial is due to begin in September. Bannon has pleaded not guilty.

But it was Bannon’s role in Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election that produced his prison sentence for contempt of Congress, after Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena from the U.S. House committee that investigated January 6.

Like Peter Navarro, another Trump aide, Bannon claimed executive privilege protected him from complying with the subpoena.

Like Navarro, Bannon saw that argument rejected at trial and was sentenced to four months in jail.

Navarro has nearly finished his sentence. Bannon is due to report to jail, reportedly in Connecticut, by 1 July.

The rightwing-dominated U.S. Supreme Court turned down a similar appeal from Navarro.

On Friday, Bannon’s filing to the Supreme Court said, “There is no dispute that Mr. Bannon ‘is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community if released’—indeed, he has been out on release for years now without incident, and his ‘crime’ was non-violent.

“Nor is there any claim that his continued pursuit of appeal is ‘for the purpose of delay.’”

Bannon however recently said that if Trump wins re-election in November, a second Trump administration would seek to “purge” the U.S. Department of Justice and to gain retribution against the former president’s enemies.

Like Trump, who has been convicted on 34 criminal counts but so far avoided trial on another 54, Bannon’s best hope of avoiding jail lies in securing delays in his cases until the election has passed.

The U.S. Supreme Court asked prosecutors to respond to Bannon by Wednesday afternoon.

A representative for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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