DOJ urges 6-month sentence for ex-Trump adviser Bannon over contempt conviction
Published: Oct 18, 2022 09:53 PM
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday asked a federal judge to sentence former president Donald Trump's adviser Steve Bannon to six months behind bars, saying he pursued a "bad faith strategy of defiance and contempt" against the congressional committee probing the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Bannon, 68, an influential far-right political figure, was convicted in July on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena.

Each count is punishable by between 30 days to one year in prison and a fine ranging between $100 to $100,000. He is due to be sentenced before US District Judge Carl Nichols on Friday morning.

Prosecutors told Nichols in their sentencing recommendation on Monday that Bannon's actions, including his refusal to this day to produce "a single document" to the congressional committee, led them to recommend a prison sentence at the top of the US guidelines range.

They also urged the judge to impose the maximum fine of $200,000, which they said they based on Bannon's "insistence on paying the maximum fine rather than cooperate with the Probation Office's routine pre-sentencing financial investigation."

"Throughout the pendency of this case, the defendant has exploited his notoriety - through courthouse press conferences and his War Room podcast - to display to the public the source of his bad-faith refusal to comply with the committee's subpoena: a total disregard for government processes and the law," prosecutors wrote in their filing.

"The defendant's statements prove that his contempt was not aimed at protecting executive privilege or the Constitution, rather it was aimed at undermining the committee's efforts to investigate an historic attack on government."

Bannon's attorneys filed a sentencing memo on Monday saying their client should be sentenced to probation only. If the judge insists on incarceration, then Bannon should be permitted to serve his sentence at home, and not in prison, they said.