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Steve Bannon will be imprisoned after DC Court upholds contempt conviction

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the criminal conviction of Steve Bannon on Friday, upholding the 2022 verdict that found the former Trump strategist guilty of contempt of Congress.

After a legal battle spanning several years, the decision could soon see Bannon, now 70, incarcerated. He was convicted in 2022 for refusing to provide testimony and documents to the House committee investigating the January 6 breach on the Capitol.

Despite the ruling, Bannon has seven days to petition for a rehearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. For now, the court has not ordered the immediate enforcement of his four-month prison sentence, which included a $6,500 fine.

Circuit Judge Brad Garcia, the court’s newest member, penned the unanimous decision, stating that Bannon “deliberately refused to comply with the Select Committee’s subpoena in that he knew what the subpoena required and intentionally did not respond,” giving “no persuasive argument” for defying it. “Bannon failed to comply with the subpoena, and his failure to comply was willful,” wrote Garcia.

In the 20-page opinion, Garcia further elaborated that Bannon could not claim an “advice of counsel” defense, which he had argued should excuse his actions because he was following his attorney’s guidance. Garcia noted, “Our decision in Licavoli directly rejects Bannon’s challenge,” reiterating that deliberate non-compliance constitutes willfulness under the law.

WATCH: Steve Bannon Will Be Imprisoned After DC Court Upholds Contempt Conviction.

“In this appeal, Bannon does not dispute that he deliberately refused to comply with the Select Committee’s subpoena in that he knew what the subpoena required and intentionally did not respond; his nonresponse, in other words, was no accident,” the court document wrote.

“Instead, Bannon challenges the contempt of Congress charges on the ground that he reasonably believed—based on advice of counsel—that he did not have to respond.”

The appeals court also dismissed several other arguments presented by Bannon’s legal team, including claims that the committee subpoena was procedurally flawed due to its composition and that Bannon was following directives from former President Trump’s legal team.

“Trump did not communicate an intent to invoke executive privilege to the Committee, and Bannon never raised executive privilege as an affirmative defense to the contempt charges in district court.”

The committee, tasked with investigating the January 6 breach, sought documents and testimony from Bannon due to his prediction on a January 5 podcast that “all hell is going to break loose” on the day of the breach. Additionally, Bannon had been engaged in discussions regarding efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Former Trump White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, 74, began his prison term in March after the Supreme Court denied his appeal.

He had claimed executive privilege as his defense when ignoring subpoenas from the House select committee, guided by advice from Robert Costello, former attorney for Steve Bannon. Despite his argument, federal prosecutors insisted that executive privilege didn’t extend to Bannon’s actions as a private citizen.

The defense contended that Bannon believed his actions were lawful because of a supposed assertion of executive privilege by Trump. However, no such privilege was directly communicated to the committee, and Trump’s attorney had clarified that such protection did not apply. Bannon remains out on bond while weighing his next steps. Should he fail to overturn the ruling, he will soon face prison time for his refusal to cooperate with the committee.

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