Steve Bannon: Appeals court upholds contempt of Congress conviction for defying subpoena Jan. 6


A federal appeals court on Friday Contempt of Congress established the penalty Steve Bannon, a former adviser to former President Donald Trump, was found guilty by the House on January 6 of failing to comply with a committee subpoena.

Bannon’s conviction — and now, the D.C. Circuit’s confirmation of that conviction — has boosted its influence in its efforts to win congressional cooperation in the investigation.

The US DC Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected several of Bannon’s challenges in the case, including his claim that the trial court excluded evidence that should have been put before the jury in his defense.

Bannon was sentenced to four months in federal prison, and that sentence was upheld by an appeals court on Friday. The ruling could eventually pave the way for Bannon to go to prison, though the timing is unclear.

The judge presiding over Bannon’s trial agreed to stay the execution pending his appeal. In its ruling Friday, the three-judge appeals panel gave Bannon time to appeal its ruling to the full DC-based appeals court before it affirmed the trial judge’s conviction.

Bannon could go directly to the Supreme Court for additional appeals, further delaying when he begins serving his prison sentence.

Bannon’s attorneys did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

In a new ruling by the DC Circuit, Judge Bradley Garcia, an appointee of President Joe Biden, upheld the dismissal of the trial judge’s counsel-of-advice argument because Bannon said he rejected the subpoena because of executive privilege concerns expressed to him. through his lawyer.

“This precise ‘advice of counsel’ defense is not a defense,” Garcia wrote, noting that the defamation statute requires only proof that Bannon “willfully and willfully” failed to respond to a subpoena.

His opinion was joined by former President Barack Obama appointee Judge Cornelia Billard and Trump appointee Judge Justin Walker.

The appeals court noted that the “communications from former President Trump’s counsel” that Bannon relied on to defend his conduct did not “authorize Bannon’s refusal to produce any documents or appear at his deposition.”

The D.C. Circuit also rejected Bannon’s contention that the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riot was improperly formed.

“These objections suffer from general infirmity,” the judges wrote. “Bannon did not raise them before the Select Committee, so he confiscated them.”

Bannon is one of two former members of Trump’s inner circle to face charges for not participating in a Jan. 6 House hearing. The second is former Trump White House aide Peter Navarro, who is currently serving a four-month prison sentence for a 2023 conviction.

When the now-defunct House committee asked Bannon for documents and testimony in 2021, it pointed to alleged communications between Bannon and Trump in the days leading up to the January 6 Capitol attack, as well as comments Bannon made on his podcast the day before. “All hell breaks loose tomorrow” riot.

Bannon served in Trump’s White House for some time, but during Trump’s crusade to reverse his 2020 election loss, Bannon has long since left federal government.

This story has been updated with additional details and background information.

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