Supreme Court Rejects Bannon’s Bid To Delay Jail Sentence

The Supreme Court has denied Steve Bannon’s request to avoid prison while appealing his conviction for contempt of Congress. Bannon, a former advisor to President Trump, must begin his four-month sentence by July 1, as ordered by a federal judge earlier this month.

Bannon’s conviction stems from his refusal to comply with a subpoena from the January 6 committee. His appeal to the Supreme Court was an effort to delay his prison term while pursuing further legal action. The Court’s order stated, “The application for release pending appeal presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied.”

In May, a federal appeals court upheld Bannon’s 2022 conviction. His attorneys argued that the government’s timing, just months before the presidential election, was politically motivated. “There is also no denying the fact that the government seeks to imprison Mr. Bannon for the four-month period immediately preceding the November presidential election,” they contended.

Bannon’s legal team highlighted the rarity of such charges, noting that it has been fifty years since a jury convicted anyone for contempt of Congress. They also criticized the government’s handling of similar cases, referencing recent congressional subpoenas to the Department of Justice concerning Hunter Biden, where DOJ officials refused to comply. “Jail for thee, not for me” is hardly an acceptable position for the government,” they wrote.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar opposed Bannon’s request, stating he did not meet the stringent requirements to delay his sentence. “[Bannon], who worked for former President Donald J. Trump for seven months in 2017, had left the White House years before the dates of the requested information,” she argued. Prelogar also pointed out that former President Trump did not invoke executive privilege, and President Biden waived any applicable privilege.

Bannon will serve his sentence at a prison in Danbury, Connecticut, known for housing violent offenders, rather than at a minimum-security facility. This decision underscores the seriousness with which the Court views contempt of Congress charges.

Peter Navarro, another former Trump aide, is also serving a four-month sentence for refusing to comply with a Jan. 6 committee subpoena, highlighting the ongoing legal battles surrounding the events of January 6.