Bannon reports to federal prison to serve contempt of court sentence – South Carolina Lawyers Weekly

Bannon reports to federal prison to serve contempt of court sentence – South Carolina Lawyers Weekly
Bannon reports to federal prison to serve contempt of court sentence – South Carolina Lawyers Weekly

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DANBURY, Conn. — Steve Bannon, a staunch Trump ally, was arrested Monday after surrendering to a federal prison to begin a four-month sentence on a charge of contempt of court for ignoring a subpoena in the congressional investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Bannon arrived at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, around noon and was officially taken into federal custody, the Bureau of Prisons said.

Speaking to reporters, Bannon called himself a “political prisoner,” said former President Donald Trump was “very supportive” of him and slammed Democrats including Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“I’m proud to be going to prison,” Bannon said, adding that he “stood up to the corrupt Justice Department in Garland.”

Shortly before he arrived to surrender, a small group of supporters, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, gathered on the side of the road outside the prison. They cheered as Greene and Bannon spoke at a news conference, holding up flags and signs in support of Bannon, while a small group of protesters chanted, “Lock him up!” and “Traitor!”

The crowd was rowdy, frequently breaking into chants of “USA!” A Biden supporter mocked Bannon by shouting “traitor,” as Trump supporters tried to drown her out. Police had to stop traffic to allow the black SUV Bannon was driving to move out of a church parking lot where Bannon’s supporters had gathered.

A judge had granted Bannon nearly two years of freedom while he appealed, but ordered him to report to prison on Monday after an appeals court panel upheld his congressional convictions. The Supreme Court on Friday rejected his last-minute appeal to stay his sentence.

A jury found Bannon guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress: first, for refusing to testify before the House committee on January 6, and second, for refusing to provide documents related to his involvement in the Republican ex-president’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.

Defense attorneys have argued that the case raises issues that should be examined by the Supreme Court, including the belief by Bannon’s previous attorney that the subpoena was invalid because Trump had invoked executive privilege. But prosecutors say Bannon had left the White House years earlier and that Trump never invoked executive privilege before the committee.

Bannon’s appeal will remain open, and Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have voiced support for the move to allege that the January 6 commission was improperly constituted, effectively seeking to label the subpoena Bannon received as unlawful.

Another Trump adviser, trade adviser Peter Navarro, has also been convicted of contempt of Congress. He reported to prison in March to begin serving a four-month sentence after the Supreme Court denied his request to stay the sentence.

Bannon also faces criminal charges in New York state court alleging he defrauded donors who gave money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Bannon has pleaded not guilty to money laundering, conspiracy, fraud and other charges, and that trial has been postponed until at least late September.