A federal judge on Friday ruled that former Trump adviser Steve Bannon will serve four months in prison and pay a $6,500 fine for contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from the partisan and arguably illegitimate House January 6 Committee, according to multiple reports.
“Respect for Congress is of course an important piece of our Constitutional system,” said U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols, a Trump appointee.
The sentence is harsher than what Bannon’s attorneys had in mind, but more lenient than what the Department of Justice had recommended.
Nichols is allowing the sentence to be paused until the popular “War Room” host can appeal his case, though as Politico reports, the judge stressed that appeal must be “timely.” If Bannon does not file an appeal, he must self-surrender by Nov. 15, Law & Crime reported.
Bannon remained defiant outside the courtroom after sentencing, saying today may have been his judgement day, but “this illegitimate regime, their Judgement Day is on 8 November when the Biden Administration ends.”
BANNON: This illegitimate regime, their Judgement Day is on 8 November. When the Biden Administration ends. pic.twitter.com/HB80gfLS9R
— ShapiroExposed.com (@JackPosobiec) October 21, 2022
As Forbes reported, Bannon was found guilty back in July “on two counts of contempt of Congress, one count for not turning over records to the House January 6 Committee and another count for refusing to testify.”
The crimes carried a minimum sentence of 30 days in prison and a maximum sentence of a year—along with a $100,000 fine for each charge—making it possible Nichols could have sentenced Bannon to up to two years in prison.
The Justice Department had asked Nichols to sentence Bannon to six months in prison—the maximum sentence recommended under the specific sentencing guidelines for Bannon’s offenses—and a $200,000 fine, while Bannon asked the judge to sentence him to only probation.
In addition, former Trump adviser and frequent Bannon’s War Room guest-host Peter Navarro has also been indicted for contempt of Congress for defying the House committee’s subpoena. Navarro has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his case will go to trial in November.
Bannon’s team had argued that because he was shielded by executive privilege through his communications with Trump, he shouldn’t be forced to comply with the lawsuit because, but Nichols rejected that argument, sending the case to trial.
Regarding his sentencing, his attorneys had reportedly argued that he shouldn’t receive any prison time or punishment because he was acting on the advice of his counsel by defying the subpoena and didn’t know what he was doing was wrong. “Quite frankly, Mr. Bannon should make no apology, Bannon’s attorney David Schoen told the court on Friday. “There is nothing here to punish.”
Nichols rejected that argument, too.
Bannon appeared on his War Room podcast with Navarro after the sentence.
“We know this wouldn’t have happened to anyone other than Steve K. Bannon, noted Human Events reporter Jack Posobiec, a frequent War Room guest.
Jack Posobiec talks to Steve Bannon after the sentence: "We know this wouldn't have happened to anyone other than Steve Bannon…" pic.twitter.com/VImwCjaxwj
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 21, 2022