Steve Bannon Ordered to Report to Prison

Steve Bannon has been ordered to report to prison by July 1 to serve time over his refusal to turn over documents related to Congress’ investigation in the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The right-wing podcast host and former adviser to Donald Trump will serve four months in prison after he was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress in 2022. This means one of the MAGA movement’s most prominent voices will be behind bars for a large portion of Trump’s presidential campaign.

The far-right conservative who once led Breitbart News is now the second Trump White House official to go to prison for refusing to release documents and cooperate with the committee. Former trader adviser Peter Navarro is currently serving a four-month term for the same crime.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, made the order on Thursday after a federal appeals court rejected Bannon’s push to overturn his misdemeanor conviction. Bannon was sentenced in October 2022 but has avoided jail time while he appealed his conviction. Nichols granted the Department of Justice’s request that Bannon serve his four-month sentence while awaiting his appeal.

Nichols could “no longer conclude that [Bannon’s] appeal raises substantial question of law,” the judge said as he made the order and revoked Bannon’s bail. Bannon and his legal team have less than a month to appeal the revocation of his bail and appeal his conviction.

Bannon was found in contempt in Congress after he refused to hand over documents to a congressional panel investigating the deadly series of events that led to the storming of the Capitol. He long argued that his lawyer told him he did not have to comply with the subpoena and therefore he did not commit a crime. The justice system disagreed.

Outside of the courthouse on Thursday, Bannon said the order was politically motivated.

“All of this about one thing. This is about shutting down the MAGA movement,” he said. “Shutting down grassroots conservatives. Shutting down President Trump. Not only are we winning, we’re going to prevail.”

“There’s nothing that can shut me up and nothing that will shut me up,” he continued, saying there wasn’t a jail sentence that would silence him. “We’re going to win on November 5 in a landslide,” he screamed as protestors yelled “Lock him up” and “You’re going to jail.”

Last month, the three-judge panel on D.C.’s Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Bannon’s appeal that he did not “willfully” break the subpoena, writing “because none of Bannon’s other challenges to his convictions have merit, we affirm [the conviction].” In addition to the four-month jail sentence, Bannon is also required to pay a $6,500 fine.

The government originally looked to slap him with a $200,000 fine and six months in jail. “A person could have shown no greater contempt than the Defendant did in his defiance of the Committee’s subpoena,” prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memo in October 2022.

Bannon’s close ties to the former president were continuously referenced in his sentencing. “The defendant chose allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston said then during closing arguments.

Presiding over sentencing then, Nichols said Bannon “has expressed no remorse” for his actions.

“The Jan. 6 committee has every right to investigate what happened that day,” Nichols said in 2022, noting that Bannon “has not provided a single document” or “testimony on any topic,” and that “others must be deterred from committing similar crimes.”

Trump gave an 11th-hour pardon to Bannon on the last day of his presidency after Bannon was charged in August 2020 with scamming thousands of donors into thinking their campaign donations to Trump would be spent on making a border wall. The funds were instead used to pay for his expenses and the salary of another campaign staffer.

Trump was not happy that Bannon was ordered to prison, writing on Thursday that it is a “Total and Complete American Tragedy that the Crooked Joe Biden Department of Injustice is so desperate to jail Steve Bannon,” adding that he believes the members of the House Jan. 6 Committee should be indicted instead.

Trump told Sean Hannity on Wednesday night that he would have “every right” to prosecute his political enemies should he win back the White House this November.

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