Appeals court upholds conviction of Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress

May 10, 2024

Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is likely headed to prison after an appeals court upheld his conviction for contempt of Congress, reports the Daily Mail.

He was handed a four-month sentence in 2022 for refusing to give evidence to a congressional investigation into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

But his prison sentence was put on hold as he appealed—saying that he acted in good faith by following legal advice and that he was barred from including critical evidence at his trial.

The decision came on Friday, May 10, when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his challenge.

“Bannon insists that ‘willfully’ should be interpreted to require bad faith and argues that his non-compliance does not qualify because his lawyer advised him not to respond to the subpoena,’ wrote Judge Bradley Garcia.

But, he continued, the court’s position is that ‘willfully’ only means deliberately.

‘Because we have no basis to depart from that binding precedent, and because none of Bannon’s other challenges to his conviction have merit, we affirm.’ 

Bannon was one of a string of Trump allies who refused to obey a subpoena to testify before the House investigation into the January 6 insurrection—claiming that “executive privilege” protected conversations and other information related to the presidency.

He was held in contempt by the House on a largely party lines votes in October 2021.

And sentencing Judge Carl Nichols said Bannon had no grounds to claim privilege, given that he had left the White House years before the events on January 6.

‘Some of the information sought by the subpoena is information under which no conceivable claim of executive privilege could’ve been made,’ Nichols said.

He was handed two four-month sentences for two charges of contempt, to run concurrently, and fined $6,500.

Bannon appealed on four grounds: that the district court was wrong to say he willfully ignored the subpoena; that his conduct was affirmed by government officials; that the subpoena was invalid; and that he was not allowed to use key evidence for his defense.

All four arguments were rejected in a 20-page ruling.

Research contact: @DailyMail