Bannon asks court to allow him to stay out of prison amid appeal

Steve Bannon urged a federal appeals court on Tuesday to delay his imminent prison sentence on contempt of Congress charges so he can first exhaust his appeals.

Bannon’s trial judge last week ordered the onetime adviser to former President Trump to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving his four-month sentence for defying a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee.

In the 36-page motion filed Tuesday evening, Bannon’s lawyers urged the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to pause his sentence by June 18, signaling they will bring their emergency request to the Supreme Court if necessary.

“This is a landmark case,” Bannon’s attorney, Trent McCotter, wrote in the motion. “The prosecution pursued a novel and aggressive theory of liability, and the case garnered international attention. If the panel decision stands, there will be far-reaching consequences, including separation-of-powers concerns.”

Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison after a federal jury in 2022 found him guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to appear for a deposition before the Jan. 6 panel and declining to turn over documents.

His trial judge, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, had enabled Bannon to remain free for the past two years as he appealed.

But after a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit ruled against Bannon in the first stage of his appeal last month, Nichols, a Trump appointee, granted prosecutors’ request for the podcast host’s sentence to begin.

Bannon’s lawyers assert he should remain out of prison because his appeal will ultimately be successful. They note the case hasn’t yet reached a court with authority to overturn a key precedent leveraged in convicting Bannon.

“Mr. Bannon intends to vigorously pursue his remaining appeals in this case and has retained experienced Supreme Court counsel. In the meantime, he asks this Court to allow him to remain on release,” his attorneys wrote in the motion.

Bannon would be the second former Trump White House official to be incarcerated for defying the Jan. 6 committee’s subpoenas.

Peter Navarro, previously a trade adviser to Trump, is currently serving his sentence on contempt of Congress charges after his emergency appeals all failed, including at the Supreme Court.

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