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Trump ally Steve Bannon sentenced to 4 months in contempt case

Border Wall Fundraiser
Posted at 6:41 AM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 11:05:33-04

Longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon faced a judge Friday and received a four-month sentence after being found guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress in July.

He will not be required to serve the sentence until after Bannon has exhausted his appeals.

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice recommended a six-month prison sentence and fine of $200,000 for Bannon defying a Congressional subpoena to go before the House January 6 Committee.

"The rioters who overran the Capitol on January 6 did not just attack a building — they assaulted the rule of law upon which this country was built and through which it endures," federal attorneys wrote in court documents. "By flouting the Select Committee's subpoena and its authority, the Defendant exacerbated that assault."

The Justice Department statement comes after the committee took the extraordinary step last week to subpoena Trump himself, something panel members said was necessary to get the full story of what happened during and before last year's attack. It's unclear how Trump will respond to the summons. Refusal to comply could open up a similar path in court — though holding a former president in contempt would be an unprecedented and fraught process.

Bannon's lawyers, meanwhile, deny he was acting in bad faith. They're asking for probation, even though his two contempt convictions each carries a mandatory minimum of one month behind bars. They're also asking for the sentence to be paused while an appeal plays out.

"Imposing a sentence of incarceration under the circumstances of Mr. Bannon's case would run contrary to the fundamental constitutional principles of individualized sentencing and sentencing proportionality," defense attorneys wrote.