Federal Prosecutors Push Supreme Court to Enforce Steve Bannon’s Prison Sentence

Jimmy Williams

Federal prosecutors are urging the Supreme Court to deny Steve Bannon’s request to delay his four-month prison sentence. Bannon, a former advisor to Donald Trump, was convicted nearly two years ago for contempt of Congress after ignoring subpoenas from the House Jan. 6 committee. Prosecutors argue it’s time for him to serve his sentence.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar stated, “This Court recently denied a similar application for release by another defendant who engaged in complete defiance of a subpoena issued by the same committee that subpoenaed applicant.” She was referring to former Trump advisor Peter Navarro, who is already serving his sentence for the same charges.

Bannon has asked the Supreme Court to let him stay out of prison while he appeals. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols had ordered Bannon to report to prison by the upcoming Monday after a dramatic hearing. However, a federal appeals court denied Bannon’s request to delay his prison sentence while he appeals. Now, only the Supreme Court can pause his sentence.

Bannon’s current lawyer, Trent McCotter, argued that Bannon tried to discuss his subpoena and related privilege issues with the House Jan. 6 committee. “Mr. Navarro, by contrast, failed to do this,” McCotter wrote. Prosecutors, however, noted that Bannon relied on his attorney’s advice to ignore the subpoena based on executive privilege. They pointed out that Bannon was not in the White House during the time period in question.

Rep. Barry Loudermilk and other House Republicans have argued that Bannon’s conviction resulted from an “invalid” prosecution. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory group voted along party lines to file a brief in Bannon’s case before the D.C. Circuit. Speaker Mike Johnson claimed that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “abused her authority” when organizing the Select Committee. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar criticized the Republicans’ move, calling it “shameful” and saying their briefing “isn’t worth the paper that it’s posted on.”

The Supreme Court could decide on Bannon’s appeal at any moment, determining whether Bannon will start his prison sentence or stay free while continuing his legal fight. This case has drawn significant attention due to Bannon’s high-profile status and the fallout from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The outcome will also signal how seriously the courts take defiance of congressional subpoenas. The Supreme Court’s ruling will be closely watched by many.

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