Appeals Court Rejects Steve Bannon’s Request to Escape Prison Sentence

A federal appeals court on June 20 rejected Steve Bannon’s latest attempt to avoid prison while he continues to appeal his conviction for contempt of Congress.

Bannon was ordered to report to prison on July 1 to begin his four-month prison sentence after US District Judge Carl Nichols granted a request from federal prosecutors to send the pro-Trump podcaster to prison after the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld his conviction.

Bannon’s attorneys filed a request with the appellate court to allow him to remain free while he continues to appeal his conviction.

Bannon has vowed to fight his conviction to the Supreme Court if necessary.

However, in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge appellate panel rejected the request, saying that Bannon’s case did not “warrant a departure from the general rule” requiring defendants to begin their sentence after conviction.

The Trump-nominated appellate judge, Judge Justice Walker, voted against the decision, saying in his dissent that Bannon should not be required to begin his sentence before the US Supreme Court decides whether it will hear his appeal.

A Washington DC jury convicted the podcaster in July 2022 of one count of contempt for refusing to provide documents to the January 6 select committee related to his part in the efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and a second count for refusing to give sworn testimony to the select committee

The defense argued at trial that Bannon was still negotiating with the select committee when he was charged with contempt of Congress. His attorneys maintained that Bannon relied on advice from his former attorney who argued that he could not comply with the subpoenas because Trump invoked executive privilege.

However, Bannon was not a member of the executive branch at the time, having been fired from the White House in 2017.

His attorneys said that there were elements of Bannon’s case that would need to be resolved by the Supreme Court, but if he reports to prison, his 4-month term will have ended before the case is heard.