May 10, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Appeals court upholds Steve Bannon's contempt of Congress conviction

Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Donald Trump, departs New York State Supreme Court on May 25, 2023 in New York City

Steve Bannon departs New York State Supreme Court in May 2023. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday rejected former Trump White House adviser Steven Bannon's appeal of his conviction for contempt of Congress.

Why it matters: By upholding Bannon's conviction, the three-judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit paved the way for him to eventually begin serving his four-month prison sentence.

Catch up quick: Bannon was convicted of two counts of contempt of Congress in July 2022 for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot.

  • The panel had sought Bannon's testimony on his involvement in the efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
  • In his appeal, Bannon raised several arguments in hopes of overturning the conviction. Those included that his lawyer had advised him not to respond to the panel's subpoena and that "his conduct was affirmatively authorized by government officials," per the ruling.
  • "Each challenge lacks merit," the panel's ruling stated.

The big picture: Former Trump aide Peter Navarro was similarly convicted of contempt of Congress in September 2023 for defying a subpoena from the House Jan 6. committee.

What to watch: Bannon could ask the full D.C. Appeals Court to hear his appeal again or request that the Supreme Court consider an appeal of Friday's ruling, per CNBC reports.

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