Stephen Bannon faces six months in prison in January. 6 Contempt of Congress


Federal prosecutors on Monday urged a judge to make former President Donald Trump’s political confidant Stephen K. Bannon the first person in more than half a century to be imprisoned for contempt of Congress, recommending he serve six months in prison Jailed for refusing to cooperate with a House committee investigating January. On June 6, 2021, the Capitol attacked.

They also sought to fine Bannon up to $200,000 for refusing to cooperate with a routine investigation by court officials and for leaking his financial records.

“The rioters who occupied the Capitol on January 6 didn’t just attack a building—they also attacked the rule of law on which this country is built and lives. By ignoring the Special Committee’s subpoena and its authority, the defendants intensified this attack ,” U.S. Attorneys JP Cooney and Amanda R. Vaughn wrote in a 24-page sentencing request. “Such behavior cannot be tolerated lest it become commonplace and accepted and the important work of congressional committees like select committees become impossible.”

Bannon was convicted in a federal jury trial in Washington in July on two misdemeanor counts — refusing to give testimony or documents — each of which carries a sentence of at least 30 days and up to a year in prison.

Steve Bannon was convicted in January. 6 Contempt of Congress trial

On Thursday, the House committee investigating the Capitol attack invited Bannon to participate in its final public hearing, citing evidence lawmakers said he knew in advance that Trump intended to falsely declare victory on election night and that he Schedule for January 1st. 6.

“All hell is going to break out tomorrow,” Bannon said on his radio show the day before the attack, in an audio excerpt played by lawmakers. Three days before the March 3, 2020 election, he told colleagues from China, “All Trump has to do is declare victory. Right? He’s going to declare victory. But that doesn’t mean he’s the winner…  He’ll just say he’s a winner.”

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Bannon’s defense is expected to ask for a non-custodial sentence or probation. On Friday, prosecutor M. Evan Corcoran asked for recommendations to be submitted to a judge by noon on Monday, with the government’s consent, and wrote that an appearance report setting out the sentencing factors at issue would be submitted to the court only after noon Friday. .

Bannon, 68, a right-wing podcaster and former top Trump campaign and White House strategist, is the closest Trump has ever been convicted after Congress met to confirm the results of the 2020 presidential election. people. Bannon was not at the Capitol that day, but the contempt of court case came after lawmakers tried to compel calls for witnesses to provide information, adopting a rarely used criminal statute designed to ensure people comply with congressional subpoenas.

Rep. House panel chair Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Congress referred Bannon to indictment to hold accountable those responsible for the Jan. 1 incident. 6 and anyone who stands in the way of lawmakers’ investigations.

The trial judge, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols, handed down his sentence on Friday.

Bannon’s lawyers have argued that the case will be dropped on appeal and is expected to seek probation pending its resolution.

They challenged Nichols’ ruling that defendants charged with contempt of Congress cannot defend their reliance on counsel’s advice or the belief that their cooperation is barred by the president’s asserted executive privilege.

During Bannon’s trial, Corcoran argued that the committee’s subpoena was illegal and politically motivated, and that the deadline Bannon adhered to was a “placeholder” for further negotiations. Corcoran, also a lawyer for Trump, has become a key figure in the Justice Department and FBI investigations into the mishandling of classified documents at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

‘Hollywood Ten’ jailed for contempt of Congress

U.S. prosecutors highlighted Bannon’s failure to respond or produce a single document by the subpoena deadline, after Bannon’s lawyers claimed Trump intended to invoke executive privilege.

In fact, one of Trump’s lawyers privately made clear to Bannon’s lawyers that the former president gave no such instructions, and prosecutors on Monday used a barrage of “exaggerated and sometimes violent rhetoric.” Disparaging House investigations, lawmakers and the criminal justice system.

Bannon vowed to make his case a “misdemeanor from hell,” resorting to “abusive, parody and threatening remarks” against lawmakers, threatening to “go to the Middle Ages” against enemies and likening his case to “Moscow show trials in the 1930s,” the prosecutor noted.

“Defendant’s statements demonstrate that his contempt was not intended to protect executive privilege or the Constitution, but was intended to undermine the committee’s efforts to investigate historic attacks on the government,” prosecutors Vaughan and Cooney wrote.

No one has been jailed for contempt of Congress since the Cold War House Un-American Activities Committee hearings. Elliott Abrams, former assistant secretary of state to President Ronald Reagan, and former senior CIA officer Alan D. Phils Jr., obtained in 1992 from George H.W. Before President Bush’s pardon, each served less than a year of probation and community service for his role in covering up the Iran anti-scandal.

Scott J. Bloch, the former head of the federal agency protecting government whistleblowers during the George W. Bush administration, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2010, but was later allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and plead guilty to sabotage property. He also received probation.

Bannon is one of two former Trump aides facing criminal charges for rejecting the committee. The trial of former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is scheduled for November.

The Justice Department said it would not indict former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and communications chief Dan Scavino Jr., who were also referred by Congress for criminal prosecution.

Unlike Bannon and Navarro, Meadows and Scavino have been negotiating with the committee for months about the terms and limitations of potential testimony and executive privilege requests. Meadows also handed over thousands of text messages and communications with members of Congress and other White House aides before ending negotiations and withdrawing his testimony.

Unlike the other three, Bannon left the Trump White House in 2017 and was a regular citizen during the 2020 election and subsequent presidential transition.

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