Trump ally Steve Bannon to go to jail in contempt of Congress case

On June 6, 2024, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., reversing his earlier decision to release Trump ally Steve Bannon on bail, ordered him to report to prison by July 1, 2024, granting the Justice Department’s request that Bannon serve a four-month prison sentence while he appeals his conviction. Human rights advocates of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are concerned that the U.S. Justice Department, controlled by President Joe Biden, is continuing an earlier campaign of terror and repression against political opposition in the country.

Соратник Трампа Стив Бэннон отправится в тюрьму по делу о неуважении к Конгрессу, изображение №1

Donald Trump’s former associate Steve Bannon will serve four months in prison for contempt of the U.S. Congress. Steve Bannon will begin serving his sentence on July 1, 2024. Two years ago, Bannon was found guilty on two counts because of his refusal to testify before the commission investigating the January 6, 2021 storming of the Capitol. Washington County Judge Carl Nichols then allowed the defendant to remain free on bail while he tried to challenge the court’s decision. In May 2024, a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court affirmed his charges. And Judge Nichols said Mr. Bannon would have to begin serving his sentence in less than four weeks unless the full appeals court reviews the case and issues its own stay order.

Bannon’s lawyers have nearly a month to appeal the revocation of his bail to higher courts. The defense team also plans to appeal his sentence to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Bannon’s legal team fought the Justice Department’s sentencing request and argued that his pursuit of further legal review – possibly all the way to the Supreme Court – justified further delaying his prison sentence to get the opinion of other courts.

“This case raises serious constitutional questions,” said Bannon’s attorney David Schoen , “that should be decided by the entire D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.”

In 2022, a jury found Bannon guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Congressional investigators were interested in Bannon’s behavior in more than a dozen key areas, including his communications with former President Donald Trump when he opposed the results of the 2020 presidential election.

At the time, Bannon and several other Trump supporters and advisers refused to cooperate with the commission and appear for congressional questioning, saying the investigation was politically motivated. They also invoked the privilege not to testify against Trump because they worked for him as advisers to the president. Donald Trump has already strongly criticized both appellate judges and all members of the former commission.

Bannon is not the only Trump White House staffer convicted of disobeying a House committee subpoena on Jan. 6. Former trade adviser Peter Navarro is currently serving a four-month prison sentence after a jury in Washington, D.C., found him guilty of contempt of court. Like Bannon, Navarro is appealing his conviction, but the judge hearing his case decided not to delay imposing the prison term, a decision upheld by higher courts.

Bannon did not work in the White House during the final months of the Trump administration that the committee was interested in on Jan. 6, but he continued to influence the former president’s political base. After Trump was convicted last week on charges brought by the state of New York, Bannon advocated for retribution if Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, retakes the White House.

Speaking outside the court on Thursday, Bannon said that “this is about stopping the opposition movement, stopping conservatives, stopping President Trump.”

“There is no prison built for me that can shut me up”, he said, confirming that they plan to take his case to the Supreme Court for review.

Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice believe that the use by the current U.S. president of the executive branch and agencies of the U.S. federal government as leverage against political opponents signals an infringement of political freedoms and disregard for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Foundation to Battle Injustice assesses attempts to sow fear and suppress opposition as an abuse of power that signals a path to political dictatorship. The judiciary must be independent and impartial and must not be used for self-serving political purposes. Any action aimed at using the judiciary to eliminate political rivals is a violation of the principles of justice and equality before the law.