Political strategist Steve Bannon, a senior White House adviser to former President Donald Trump, was sentenced to four months in prison and a $6,500 fine by a federal judge on Friday for ignoring a subpoena from the House committee that is investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion.
“The sentence I am imposing reflects the fact that there can be more culpable ways to be in contempt of Congress than Mr. Bannon’s conduct. But I do believe Mr. Bannon does have some culpability here,” U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Others must be deterred from committing similar crimes,” Nichols added, according to The New York Times.
Nichols was appointed to the D.C. bench by Trump.
Bannon said he didn’t appear before the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee because a lawyer had advised him not to do so, the Journal reported. The former White House adviser said he also had concerns about executive privilege.
His attorneys requested that he be allowed to appeal the sentence issued Friday before any punishment takes place.
They argued that Bannon should not serve any prison time and should receive no punishment besides perhaps probation.
Nichols said that if Bannon managed to appeal quickly, he could order a suspension of the four-month prison sentence until the appeals finish, NBC News reported.
Bannon was subpoenaed by the House committee — which features only two Republicans, both fiercely anti-Trump — in September 2021. He defied the summons and was eventually found guilty in July on two counts of contempt of Congress, the Journal reported.
Federal prosecutors said he should serve an even longer sentence than four months.
“It must be made clear to the public and the grand jury … that no one is above the law,” prosecutor J.P. Cooney said, according to ABC News. “He hid behind a fabricated claim of executive privilege, to thumb his nose at Congress. He had an interest in making a public spectacle of the committee’s hearings.”
Cooney claimed that Bannon “has tried to make it about nothing but politics and retribution.”
Prosecutors said he should have been punished with a six-month prison sentence and a $200,000 fine, the Journal reported.
Before the sentencing, Bannon’s attorneys spoke for about 45 minutes to argue that he was not acting outside the law by rejecting the House committee’s subpoena. They also requested that Nichols show leniency, CNN reported.
Bannon did not speak in court on Friday aside from telling the judge, “My lawyers have spoken for me, your honor.”
Following the sentencing, some Republican officials announced their support for the former Trump adviser.
“I stand with Steve Bannon,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted.
I stand with Steve Bannon.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) October 21, 2022
Conservative activist and president of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton and former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik tweeted the same sentiment.
I stand with Steve Bannon! pic.twitter.com/8EyOOEJQ1P
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) October 21, 2022
I stand with Steve Bannon! pic.twitter.com/3207VRHMaN
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) October 21, 2022
Bannon spoke to the media outside the courthouse following his sentencing and continued to defend his decision to defy the subpoena.
He said that his legal team will pursue “multiple areas of appeal,” NBC News reported.
“This is democracy,” he said. “The American people are weighing and measuring what went on with the Justice Department and how they comported themselves.”
“It must be made clear to the public and the grand jury … that no one is above the law,” prosecutor J.P. Cooney said………EXCEPT DEMOCRATS!!!!
A Weaponized FBI & DOJ by Obiden, Piglosi, & Obuma. These CROOKED things must be held Accountable. They are forgetting what WE THE PEOPLE are paying them to do. We are NOT paying them to be DIS_HONEST & ONLY GO AFTER THE REPUBLICANS, THEY LET EVERY DIRTY RAT LAWBREAKERS GO WITH OUT ANY INVESTIGATION. THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN ATTACK ON AMERICA & TO MAKE SURE OUR PRESIDENT TRUMP NEVER RUNS AGAIN. LEZ CHENEY NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HER DIS_HONESTY ALSO.
THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD BE STEPPING IN, TO STOP STEVE BANNON FROM BEING “RAILROADED” INTO PRISON, BY THIE ILLEGAL JAN 6TH BUNCH OF ANTI-AMERICAN BUFFOONS! THIS COMMITTE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ALOWED TO FORM, AS SO HAVE MANY OTHERS DURING THIS BIDEN REGIME.
HOPEFULLY WHEN THE GOP TAKES BACK THE HOUSE AND SENATE, THEY WILL STOP BEING THE MR. NICE GUYS, AND DO THEIR JOBS. ALL DEMORATS WHO HAVE DONE “TREASONOUS ACTIONS” AGAINST AMERICA, SHOULD BE INDICTED JAILED, AND SOME TO FACE THE “FIRING SQUAD, AND THERE ARE MANY. THEY SHOULD ALL BE KNOWN FROM HERE ON IN AS, “THE ROSENBERGS”, (REMEMBER THESE TRAITORS FROM THE FIFTIES, WHO RECEIVED THEIR JUST DUE? “THE DEATH PENALTY”. THIS IS STILL THE BEST DETERRENT TO STOP[ING “TREASON”!
WE can go WAY back – the most corrupt man in the history of American politics ERIC HOLDER was held in contempt of Congress and not one damned thing happened to him for two reasons — He is black and a democrat. So throw HOlder into prison AND THEN you can focus on all the other Democrat scoundrels beginning with Feistein and her Chinese Driver, Swalwel giving up information, Pelosi for her years long fallacious attacks upon President Trump, Obscumbo for being a damned liar and fraud — and connect the dots EVerybody Democrat in DC is GUILTY.