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Steve Bannon will be sentenced after former Trump aide defies Jan. 6 subpoena

Former Trump White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon speaks to the media after the opening day of his trial for contempt of Congress over his refusal to cooperate with the House of Commons Select Committee United States investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, at U.S. District Court in Washington, July 18, 2022.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Trump’s former top White House adviser, Steve Bannon, is set to be sentenced on Friday for defying a subpoena from the congressional inquiry into the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

The proceedings, scheduled for 9 a.m. ET in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, could make Bannon one of the most high-profile figures to be locked up on insurgency-related charges. He should appeal his conviction.

Federal prosecutors want the court to sentence Bannon to six months in prison — the high end of the federal sentencing guidelines range — and the maximum fine of $200,000.

A right-wing media figure and former close ally of former President Donald Trump, Bannon “systematically acted in bad faith” as he attempted to obstruct the House Select Committee’s investigation, prosecutors argued.

Bannon asked federal judge Carl Nichols for a probation sentence. His lawyers also argued that the court should postpone any sentencing until an appeals court can hear the case.

Bannon’s sentencing came a year to the day since the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from a House select committee for documents and testimony. Bannon was charged in November with two criminal counts and convicted after a federal trial in July.

Bannon’s attorney had argued that the subpoena would violate Trump’s executive privilege, the presidential power to withhold certain information from the public.

But Bannon reversed course days before his trial, saying he was willing to testify because Trump had agreed to waive his claim for executive privilege.

Prosecutors called it a stunt. In a court filing on Monday, they wrote that after Bannon’s scheme failed to delay the trial, “he never again attempted to comply with the subpoena – until day”.

Bannon’s attorneys argued in part that Bannon should receive a light sentence because he was merely following his attorney’s advice when he defied the select committee’s subpoena.

“The facts of this case show that Mr. Bannon’s conduct was based on his good faith reliance on the advice of his attorney,” the defendant’s attorneys wrote in a filing this week.

But Justice Department prosecutors said Bannon “pursued a bad faith strategy of defiance and contempt” from the “time” he received the subpoena.

“A person could not have shown more contempt than the defendant did in defying the subpoena of the committee,” they told the court.

“The rioters who invaded the Capitol on January 6 not only attacked a building, they assaulted the rule of law on which this country was built and through which it lives. By disregarding the subpoena of the select committee and its authority, the accused exacerbated this aggression. “, said their note.

This develops news. Please check for updates.


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