Steve Bannon Loses Appeal

His conviction has been upheld, but Trump ally won't go to prison immediately
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2024 11:53 AM CDT
Appeals Court Upholds Bannon Conviction
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

A federal appeals court panel on Friday upheld the criminal conviction of Steve Bannon for defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol. A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected Bannon's challenges to his contempt of Congress conviction, the AP reports. Bannon had been sentenced to four months in prison, but the judge overseeing the case had allowed him to stay free pending appeal.

After the ruling Friday, Bannon wasn't ordered to start serving his sentence immediately, the BBC reports. His lawyers could ask the full DC appeals court to hear the matter. Bannon has seven days to ask the court to reconsider. In the unanimous ruling, the panel rejected Bannon's argument that he was following his lawyer's advice when he defied the subpoena. "This exact 'advice of counsel' defense is no defense at all," wrote Justice Bradley Garcia.

The congressional committee sought Bannon's testimony over his involvement in Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Bannon had initially argued that his testimony was protected by Trump's claim of executive privilege. But the House panel and the Justice Department contend such a claim is dubious because Trump had fired Bannon from the White House in 2017 and Bannon was thus a private citizen when he was consulting with the then-president in the run-up to the riot. (A second Trump aide, trade adviser Peter Navarro, was also convicted of contempt of Congress and reported to prison in March to serve his four-month sentence.)

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