Supreme Court Orders Bannon To Begin Prison Sentence

On Friday, the Supreme Court denied Steve Bannon’s appeal to stay out of prison while he contests his contempt of Congress conviction. Bannon, once an advisor to former President Trump, is required to start his four-month sentence by July 1, following a federal judge’s directive.

Bannon’s legal troubles originate from his defiance of a subpoena issued by the January 6 committee. The Supreme Court’s decision came after a federal appeals court upheld his 2022 conviction in May. The Court’s order read, “The application for release pending appeal presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied.”

Bannon’s attorneys claimed the government’s decision to imprison him just before the presidential election was politically charged. They stated, “There is also no denying the fact that the government seeks to imprison Mr. Bannon for the four-month period immediately preceding the November presidential election.”

His legal team also pointed out that contempt of Congress charges are rarely pursued, noting it has been fifty years since such a jury conviction occurred. They criticized the inconsistency in the government’s response to congressional subpoenas, citing the Department of Justice’s recent refusal to comply with subpoenas related to Hunter Biden. “Jail for thee, not for me” is hardly an acceptable position for the government,” they argued.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar contended that Bannon did not meet the high standard required to defer his sentence. “[Bannon], who worked for former President Donald J. Trump for seven months in 2017, had left the White House years before the dates of the requested information,” she stated. Prelogar emphasized that former President Trump did not invoke executive privilege, and President Biden waived any potential privilege.

Bannon is expected to serve his sentence at a prison in Danbury, Connecticut, which houses violent offenders, instead of a lower-security facility. This decision underscores the judicial system’s stance on upholding the law concerning contempt of Congress.

Peter Navarro, another former Trump advisor, is also serving a four-month sentence for contempt of Congress due to his refusal to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee, reflecting the ongoing legal repercussions from the January 6 investigation.