Federal Appeals Court Upholds Bannon’s Contempt Conviction

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the contempt conviction of Stephen K. Bannon, a longtime adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, for having defied a subpoena from the Jan. 6 House select committee, a ruling that could lead to Mr. Bannon serving a four-month term in prison.

The decision by the court means that Mr. Bannon could soon become the second former Trump aide to be jailed for ignoring a subpoena from the committee. The House panel sought his testimony as part of its wide-ranging investigation into Mr. Trump’s efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 election, and its explosive hearings two years ago previewed much of the evidence used against Mr. Trump in a federal indictment filed last summer accusing him of plotting to overturn his defeat.

In March, Peter Navarro, who once worked as a trade adviser to Mr. Trump, reported to federal prison in Miami to begin serving his own four-month prison stint after a jury found him guilty of contempt of Congress for ignoring one of the committee’s subpoenas.

The judge who oversaw Mr. Bannon’s trial had allowed him to remain at home during the appeal of his conviction and is now in a position to force him to surrender.

Mr. Bannon had fought his contempt conviction as forcefully as he fought the initial charges during his brief trial in Federal District Court in Washington in July 2022. That proceeding was a spectacle, with the defendant delivering heated speeches outside the courthouse and promising in the days before it began to go “medieval” on the prosecutors who had brought the case against him.

One of the arguments that Mr. Bannon raised to the appeals court was that his lawyers had advised him to ignore the committee’s subpoena — a tactic known as an advice of counsel defense. Mr. Bannon also claimed that Mr. Trump himself had ordered him to defy demands from the committee.

Back to top button