Former Trump strategist Steven Bannon was sentenced to four months in jail and a $6,500 fine on Friday morning for two charges of contempt of Congress. An appeal to defer the punishment has been lodged.
Bannon was unable to comply with subpoenas because President Donald Trump cited executive privilege in connection to their communications, so barring him from doing so. Trump then overturned the gag order, enabling Bannon to testify, but the DOJ continued to prosecute its case.
During the hearings held in the morning, prosecutors suggested that Bannon should be sentenced to a least of one month in jail, but his defense team contended that there is no “required minimum” in this instance. Judge Nichols agreed that a mandatory minimum sentence is necessary in this case.
Bannon's attorney David Schoen is making extended argument that there's no "mandatory minimum" in this Contempt of Congress case. Judge is pressing him and pushing back on much of this argument
You'll recall Schoen also represented Trump in 2nd impeachment trial (seen below) pic.twitter.com/g7YupFF9S1
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) October 21, 2022
According to the Post-Millennial Reports “According to 2 USC §192, contempt of Congress carries with it a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $100 fine, and a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.”
During the Prosecution’s final arguments before sentencing, Assistant US Attorney JP Cooney defended their request for a $200,000 fine, stating that Bannon’s lack of cooperation with the probation office’s financial review only “amplifies [Bannon’s] contemptuous conduct”
“Everyday citizens walk in and out of [the office]” to honor subpoenas and “fill those obligations,” Cooney added. “This man… a public figure… chose to hide behind a fabricated claim… to thumb his nose at Congress.”
Cooney subsequently added, “Defendant’s claim of executive privilege was just a smokescreen.”
The prosecution opposed Bannon’s release while his defense team appealed his conviction.
During the defense’s arguments, attorney David Schoen told the court, “I hope no American believes anything (the prosecutor) just said… other than that Mr. Bannon should be treated like any other citizen,” and he hoped that the record would not indicate that “Bannon is above the law,” but rather the opposite.
Schoen said, “Any sentence of incarceration should be suspended.. and wouldn’t be appropriate.”
Schoen believed that Bannon complied with the Constitution and was not “acting above the law” when he did not adhere to the January 6 Committee on the advice of his legal advisors.
In addition, Schoen brought up executive privilege, stating that Bannon was following executive privilege asserted by former President Trump and claiming that “The [January 6] committee wouldn’t have been composed as it was, if it was interested in an investigation.”
“The defense later continued on to state that the prosecution was showing “zeal to make Mr. Bannon their trophy,” and that “politics has infected this process,”” the Post Millenial added.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Schoen also said that Bannon would not be saying “I’m sorry,” because Bannon believes he was doing the right thing.
Bannon did not speak at the sentencing hearing, telling the judge “my lawyers have spoken.” CONTINUE READING…