Trump advisor Bannon ordered to report to prison by July 1

Steve Bannon, a former White House advisor to Donald Trump, was ordered to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving his sentence for contempt of Congress (Anna Moneymaker)
Steve Bannon, a former White House advisor to Donald Trump, was ordered to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving his sentence for contempt of Congress (Anna Moneymaker)

Former top Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon was ordered by a federal judge on Thursday to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving his four-month sentence for contempt of Congress.

Bannon, 70, was convicted of contempt in July 2022 for defying a subpoena to testify before the congressional panel that investigated the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.

One of the masterminds behind Trump's successful 2016 presidential campaign, he was sentenced to four months in prison in October 2022, but has remained free while appealing his conviction.

A US federal appeals court upheld the conviction last month. US District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, revoked Bannon's bail at a court hearing on Thursday and ordered him to report to prison by July 1.

A defiant Bannon addressed reporters outside the Washington courthouse after the judge's order, saying "there's nothing that can shut me up and nothing that will shut me up."

"There's not a prison built or a jail built that will ever shut me up," he said.

"We're going to win on November 5th in an amazing landslide," he added in a reference to the date of the White House election expected to be a rematch between Trump and Democratic President Joe Biden.

Trump, in a post on Truth Social, called it an "American tragedy" that Bannon had been ordered jailed for refusing to cooperate with the committee of the House of Representatives that investigated the assault on the Capitol.

"The unAmerican Weaponization of our Law Enforcement has reached levels of Illegality never thought possible before," said the former president, who himself was convicted last week in New York of falsifying business records.

- Another Trump aide jailed -

Another top Trump advisor, Peter Navarro, was also convicted of contempt of Congress and began serving a four-month sentence in a Florida prison in March.

Navarro, 74, is the highest-ranking former member of the Trump administration to spend time behind bars for actions stemming from the former Republican president's efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Bannon served in the White House as chief strategist for the first seven months of Trump's term, leaving reportedly due to conflicts with other top staffers.

In 2020, he was charged with wire fraud and money laundering for taking for personal use millions of dollars contributed by donors for the construction of a border wall with Mexico.

While others were found guilty in the scheme, Trump issued a blanket pardon to Bannon before leaving office in January 2021, leading to the dismissal of the charges against him.

Trump was scheduled to go on trial in Washington on March 4 on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the election won by Biden, but his trial has been put on hold until the Supreme Court rules on Trump's claim that as a former president he is immune from criminal prosecution.

Trump, 77, was impeached for a second time by the House after the Capitol riot -- he was charged with inciting an insurrection -- but was acquitted by the Senate.

cl/mlm