Live updates: Steve Bannon’s sentencing

Former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon will appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on Oct. 4 to set a timetable and possible trials in a corruption case.

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon will be sentenced Friday after a federal jury found him guilty of contempt of Congress in July for defying a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

Federal prosecutors want Bannon to be sentenced to six months in prison and fined $200,000 — stiffer than the minimum sentence of 30 days in jail under federal law. Bannon is seeking probation and asking that sentencing be stayed pending his appeal.

Here are the most important things to know about the case and the conviction:

The verdict: After nearly two days of hearing evidence and testimony, the jury reached a unanimous verdict on the two counts of contempt in less than three hours.

Bannon smiled as the verdict was read, looking back and forth between the courtroom deputy and the presiding judge. Bannon’s team did not mount a defense during the trial, and he did not take the stand. Speaking to reporters after the sentencing, his attorney David Schoen said they planned to appeal the verdict, calling it a “bulletproof appeal.”

In a Justice Department press release highlighting the conviction, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Matthew Graves, said “the subpoena for Stephen Bannon was not an invitation that could be declined or ignored.”

Why the judgment is important: It was a victory for Parliament’s select committee on January 6 as it continues to seek the cooperation of reluctant witnesses in its historic inquiry. It was also a victory for the Justice Department, which is under intense scrutiny for its approach to cases related to the January 6 attack.

Bannon is one of two uncooperative committee witnesses on Jan. 6 who have so far been charged by the Justice Department with contempt of Congress. Trump’s White House counsel, Peter Navarro, was indicted by a grand jury last month for failing to comply with a committee subpoena and has pleaded not guilty.

Why the committee wanted Bannon’s cooperation: In demanding his cooperation, the committee pointed to Bannon’s contacts with Trump in the lead-up to the Capitol attack, his presence in the so-called war room of Trump allies at the Willard Hotel in Washington the day before the riot and a prediction. he said on his podcast before the riot that “all hell” would “break loose.”

The role of executive privilege in the matter: When the House committee demanded his cooperation, Bannon’s lawyer argued that Trump’s stated claims of executive privilege prevented Bannon from testifying or making arguments — an argument the committee rejected. Lawmakers noted that Bannon had not been in office for years and pointed to their interest in subject areas that did not involve conversations with Trump.

During the trial, however, Bannon’s arguments about executive privilege were not a central focus — even as his lawyers found ways to bring attention to the issue. They did so in light of rulings by the judge who found it largely irrelevant, under appellate precedent, to the elements of the contempt offence.

Leave a Comment