U.S. Justice System Drops The Hammer On Steve Bannon

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(TruthAndLiberty.com) – On Friday, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon to overturn his contempt of Congress conviction, affirming his sentence for not complying with a subpoena issued by the now-defunct January 6th committee.

Judge Brad Garcia, writing for a three-judge panel, noted that Bannon only presented his arguments in district court, well past the deadline for responding to the subpoena. “A witness cannot use an affirmative defense against a contempt of Congress charge if they were capable of but did not raise it when required to submit documents or testify,” he explained.

Bannon was convicted in 2022 for both not showing up for a scheduled deposition and for failing to produce documents as demanded by the committee. He received a four-month jail sentence and was fined $6,500.

This ruling is part of a series of defeats for Bannon and another former Trump advisor, Peter Navarro, who also did not comply with a subpoena from the January 6th panel. The Supreme Court recently refused to interfere when Navarro sought emergency relief before beginning a four-month prison sentence in Florida.

In Navarro’s case, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals largely agreed with a lower court’s judgment that Navarro’s appeal did not present a “substantial question of law,” thus not justifying his release. Additionally, the court found Navarro’s claims of executive privilege insufficient, pointing out that such a defense would have required an explicit invocation of privilege by former President Trump, which did not occur.

Bannon has the option to request a full bench review from the appeals court, which could delay his imprisonment, or he could petition the Supreme Court to take up his case.

In his appeal, Bannon challenged the interpretation of ‘willfulness’ in the law, claiming he followed his attorney’s advice by neither producing documents nor attending the deposition. Garcia, however, dismissed this argument, affirming that ‘willfully’ simply means that the defendant consciously chose not to comply with a congressional subpoena and that relying on an attorney’s advice does not exempt someone from compliance.

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