Trump ally Bannon ordered to report to prison for defying Jan. 6 probe

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 24. Bannon must report to prison by July 1 to serve a sentence for contempt of Congress, a federal judge said Thursday.

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 24. Bannon must report to prison by July 1 to serve a sentence for contempt of Congress, a federal judge said Thursday. (Elizabeth Frantz, Reuters)


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WASHINGTON — Steve Bannon, a former top adviser to Donald Trump, must report to prison by July 1 to serve a four-month sentence for contempt of Congress, a federal judge said on Thursday.

The decision means Bannon, a right-wing media firebrand who maintains influence in Trump's orbit, will likely be behind bars for a critical stretch of the presidential campaign as former President Trump faces Democratic President Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 election.

The order by U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington came after a federal appeals court last month rejected Bannon's bid to overturn his conviction for spurning a subpoena from a congressional panel that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Bannon was convicted in 2022 of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents or testify to the Democratic-led House of Representatives committee.

Bannon will be the second former top official from Trump's White House to go to prison for refusing to cooperate with the committee. Peter Navarro, a former trade adviser, is currently serving a four-month term.

Bannon was allowed to avoid serving the sentence during his appeal. Prosecutors moved to end that reprieve after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rebuffed Bannon's challenge to his conviction.

Bannon's lawyers urged Nichols to keep Bannon free, arguing he can still appeal to the full D.C. Circuit Court or the U.S. Supreme Court. Bannon has argued that he was advised by his lawyer that he did not have to comply with the subpoena and therefore did not intend to commit a crime.

Bannon, who no longer worked in the White House at the time, was part of a group of Trump advisers who sought to derail formal certification of Biden's victory in the 2020 election.

The congressional panel said he may have had knowledge of events planned for Jan. 6, 2021, when a group of Trump supporters breached the Capitol in a failed bid to stop lawmakers from certifying the vote.

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Andrew Goudsward

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