May 14, 2024 - Politics & Policy

DOJ requests judge order Steve Bannon to start prison sentence

Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Donald Trump, in a New York City courtroom in May 2023.

Steve Bannon, former adviser to President Donald Trump, in a New York City courtroom in May 2023. Photo: Curtis Means-Pool/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told a federal judge on Tuesday that former Trump adviser Steven Bannon should begin serving a four-month prison sentence for his contempt of Congress convictions.

Why it matters: The Justice Department said a stay on Bannon's sentence now has "no legal basis" since a federal appeals court last week upheld his conviction.

  • Bannon was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress in 2022 for defying a subpoena by the House January 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot.
  • Bannon's sentenced had been stayed while he appealed the convictions.

Driving the news: The DOJ argued that a person who has been found guilty of an offense and has received a sentenced must report to prison unless they can establish that an appeal is "not for the purpose of delay and raises a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal."

  • Because Bannon's appeal was unanimously rejected on all grounds last week, there's no longer a question of law that will likely result in reversal or a new trial, the DOJ argued, so the judge should order that Bannon be detained.

Between the lines: In asking the judge to lift the stay, Justice Department officials cited former President Trump adviser Peter Navarro, who was also convicted of contempt of Congress.

  • He reported to prison in Miami in March to begin serving a four-month sentence after his request to remain free while he appeals his conviction was rejected.

The big picture: Bannon has previously said he'd be willing to go to prison for refusing to comply with the committee's investigation and has repeatedly made vague threats of "retribution" for the probe and his conviction.

Go deeper: Trump loyalists follow him from Mar-a-Lago to Manhattan during hush money trial

Read the filing:

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