Prosecutors ask judge to order Steve Bannon to report to prison

The one-time adviser to Donald Trump was handed a four-month prison sentence and $6,500 fine

Michelle Del Rey,Katie Hawkinson
Tuesday 14 May 2024 23:36
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Federal prosecutors have asked the judge overseeing Steve Bannon’s prison term to reverse a stay on his sentence now that an appeals court has upheld his contempt of Congress conviction. 

Prosecutors requested that Judge Carl Nichols overturn the stay on Mr Bannon’s four-month sentence following the appeals court’s decision, stating that “there is no legal basis” to continue the stay, in a motion filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday.

Mr Bannon was convicted of two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House January 6 committee to testify and provide documents in the case.

The political strategist, who previously served as an adviser to former president Donald Trump, was sentenced to four months in prison and hit with a $6,500 fine in October 2022.

Prosecutors filed a motion asking a judge to reverse a stay on Steve Bannon’s prison sentence (AP)

Mr Bannon appealed the sentence, prompting the judge to issue a stay on his prison term.

On Friday, Judge Bradley Garcia issued a formal denial of that request.

In a ruling from the appeals court, Judge Garcia wrote: “As both this court and the Supreme Court have repeatedly explained, a contrary rule would contravene the text of the contempt statute and hamstring Congress’s investigatory authority.”

He added: “Because we have no basis to depart from that binding precedent, and because none of Bannon’s other challenges to his convictions have merit, we affirm.”

Since Mr Bannon’s appeal was not successful, prosecutors said: “Consequently, there is no longer a ‘substantial question of law that is likely to result in a reversal or an order for a new trial. Under these circumstances, the Court ‘shall order’ defendant ‘be detained’ so the stay of sentence must be lifted.”

Judge Nichols has not issued a ruling on the matter but ordered Mr Bannon to respond to the motion by Thursday. The Independent emailed the office of David I Schoen, Mr Bannon’s attorney, for comment.

The attorney has asked to file his response on 20 May, in a move that was opposed by Department of Justice prosecutors, according to court documents. If granted, Mr Bannon will have more time on the outside before his prison term begins.

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