Steve Bannon Faces Possible Imprisonment After Court Ruling

A federal appeals court has upheld the criminal conviction of former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, marking a potential turning point in his legal battle.

After years of legal proceedings, Bannon, 70, may soon face imprisonment following the court’s decision. In 2022, he was convicted of contempt of Congress for his refusal to provide testimony or documents to the committee investigating the 6 January Capitol riot.

Expressing plans for a new appeal, Bannon’s lawyer highlighted the significance of constitutional issues at hand.

Initially sentenced to four months in prison and fined $6,500 (£5,200), Bannon, a right-wing podcaster, has consistently denied any criminal wrongdoing. He remained free on bond while contesting his conviction.

Bannon’s legal team has portrayed the case as politically driven, asserting that he sought negotiations rather than outright defiance of the committee’s subpoenas.

Maintaining his stance, Bannon has argued that he followed legal counsel when declining to testify before the House committee investigating the 2021 attack aimed at halting Congress’s certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

In a unanimous ruling, the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Bannon’s defense, asserting it conflicted with established legal principles.

“This ‘advice of counsel’ defense holds no merit,” wrote Justice Bradley Garcia, representing the court, alongside a panel featuring appointees from different administrations, including Biden, Trump, and Obama.

While Bannon hasn’t been immediately directed to commence his four-month sentence, he now has a seven-day window to lodge another appeal.

David Schoen, Bannon’s attorney, intends to petition the full 11-member DC appeals court for a reconsideration. He argues that Donald Trump’s assertion of executive privilege, which allows presidents to withhold certain communications, would render Bannon’s congressional testimony unlawful.

Bannon’s legal counsel strongly advised him against responding to the subpoena, Mr Schoen emphasized, stating that he was legally prohibited from doing so.

Peter Navarro, another high-ranking Trump aide, began serving his prison sentence in March following his own conviction for contempt of Congress.

In his 2021 memoir, “In Trump Time,” Navarro claimed responsibility for devising a strategy to contest the 2020 election results that led to Joe Biden’s presidency.

Bannon played a pivotal role in Trump’s successful 2016 election campaign and later served as chief strategist in the White House.

He exited that position after a violent far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. Despite his departure, the outspoken podcaster remained a prominent ally of Trump.

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