SteveB
© ReutersPardoned by then President Donald Trump Steve Bannon was indicted for alleged involvement in Jan 6 US Capitol riots
Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon is likely headed to prison after an appeals court upheld his conviction for contempt of Congress.

He was handed a four-month sentence in 2022 for refusing to give evidence to a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. But it was put on hold as he appealed, saying that he acted in good faith by following legal advice and that he was barred from including critical evidence at his trial.

The decision came on Friday when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his challenge.

'Bannon insists that 'willfully' should be interpreted to require bad faith and argues that his non-compliance does not qualify because his lawyer advised him not to respond to the subpoena,' wrote Judge Bradley Garcia.

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But, he continued, the court's position is that 'willfully' only means deliberately.

'Because we have no basis to depart from that binding precedent, and because none of Bannon's other challenges to his conviction have merit, we affirm.'

Bannon was one of a string of Trump allies who refused to obey a subpoena to testify before the House investigation into the Jan. 6 violence, claiming 'executive privilege' protected conversations and other information related to the presidency.

He was held in contempt by the House on a largely party lines votes in October 2021. And sentencing Judge Carl Nichols said he had no grounds to claim privilege, given that he had left the White House years before the events on Jan. 6.

'Some of the information sought by the subpoena is information under which no conceivable claim of executive privilege could've been made,' Nichols said.

He was handed two four-month sentences for two charges of contempt, to run concurrently, and fined $6500.

Bannon appealed on four grounds: That the district court was wrong to say he willfully ignored the subpoena; that his conduct was affirmed by government officials; that the subpoena was invalid; and that he was not allowed to use key evidence for his defense.

All four arguments were rejected in a 20-page ruling.
Bannon
© APBannon spoke to the media after arriving at federal court to be sentenced on October 21, 2022 • Washington DC
He is not entirely out of legal options, and could ask the full appeals court to hear his case or take it to the Supreme Court, but legal analysts were quick to say that he had little hope of winning.

Bannon joined the Trump campaign in 2016 and went to the White House as chief strategist. But he lost a power struggle and was soon ousted. Since then he has become a key voice of Trump's MAGA movement.

Peter Navarro, another Trump ally, reported to a federal prison in Miami in March, becoming the first former White House official to be imprisoned for contempt of Congress.

Meanwhile, in another reminder of the turmoil of the Trump years, the former president is sitting in a New York courtroom where he in on trial, accused of 34 counts of falsifying business records.

He denies all the charges but this week had to endure two days of testimony by Stormy Daniels, the adult movie star who says she slept with Trump in 2006.