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Bannon’s Contempt Conviction Upheld, Potential Prison Sentence Looms

Stephen K. Bannon

A federal appeals court has upheld the contempt conviction of Stephen K. Bannon, a close adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, for his refusal to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 House select committee. This ruling could result in Bannon facing a four-month prison sentence.

The decision paves the way for Bannon to potentially become the second former Trump associate to be incarcerated for defying the committee’s subpoenas. The House panel sought Bannon’s testimony as part of its extensive investigation into Trump’s attempts to challenge the outcome of the 2020 election.

The committee’s hearings provided critical evidence used in a federal indictment last summer, accusing Trump of orchestrating efforts to overturn his electoral defeat.

Stephen K. Bannon

Earlier this year, Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser to Trump, began serving a four-month prison term for contempt of Congress after being found guilty by a jury for ignoring a committee subpoena.

During his trial in July 2022, Bannon vehemently contested his contempt conviction, mirroring his combative stance against the initial charges. The trial was marked by Bannon’s fiery speeches outside the courthouse, where he vowed to aggressively confront the prosecutors.

One of Bannon’s defenses raised in the appeals court was that his legal counsel had advised him to disregard the committee’s subpoena, employing an “advice of counsel” strategy. Additionally, Bannon claimed that Trump himself instructed him to defy the committee’s demands.

With the appeals court’s decision, Bannon may now be compelled to serve his prison sentence, as the judge overseeing his case is empowered to order him to surrender.

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