Former Trump aide Steve Bannon ordered to jail by July 1 to serve contempt of Congress sentence

Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Donald Trump, arrives at the federal courthouse to find out if or when a judge will order him to jail on June 6, 2024 in Washington, DC. 

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A federal judge in Washington, D.C., at a hearing Thursday ordered former Trump White House aide Steve Bannon to report to jail by July 1 to begin serving a four-month sentence for his criminal contempt of Congress conviction.

The order by Judge Carl Nichols came three weeks after federal prosecutors urged him to lift a stay on Bannon’s sentence pending an appeal of his conviction for failing to comply with a subpoena from a House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

A federal appeals court panel in a unanimous ruling on May 10 upheld Bannon’s conviction in the case.

At Thursday’s hearing, Bannon’s lawyer David Schoen reacted emotionally to Nichols’ order.

“One thing you have to learn as a lawyer is that when the judge has made his decision, you don’t stand up and start yelling,” Nichols said, according to NBC News.

“I’ve had enough,” the judge said as Schoen continued talking.

The lawyer replied, “I’m not yelling.”

“You’re sending a man to prison who thought he was complying with the law, we don’t do that in my system,” said Schoen, who argued that Nichols’ ruling was “contrary to our system of justice.”

Nichols shot back, “I think you should sit down.”

Outside of court, Schoen told reporters, “The decision has it wrong factually in many many ways, it’s a horrible decision.”

He said Bannon’s appeal needs to be taken by the Supreme Court. Schoen has argued that Bannon was not guilty of contempt because Bannon’s lawyer at the time had advised him not to comply with the House’s subpoena.

Bannon told reporters Thursday, “I’ve got great lawyers, and we’re gonna go all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to.”

“There’s nothing that can shut me up and nothing that will shut me up,” he said. “There’s not a prison built or a jail built that will ever shut me up”

As Bannon walked away, a protestor yelled, “Lock them up!”

“You’re a coup plotter!” the protestor yelled. “It’s a failed coup!”

It is possible that Bannon’s jail sentence could be stayed by an order of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, or by the U.S. Supreme Court.

But Bannon’s hopes of winning a stay of his sentence or a reversal of his conviction at either of those courts is, legally speaking, a long shot.

In March, Peter Navarro, another ex-adviser to former President Donald Trump, began serving a four-month federal jail sentence after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of his conviction for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 House committee.

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