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Trump adviser Steve Bannon sentenced to prison

Bannon was found guilty for contempt of Congress for refusing a Jan. 6 committee subpoena

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Steve Bannon, center, and his attorney Evan Corcoran, right, speak to the media as he leaves the federal courthouse.

Steve Bannon, center, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump and convicted of contempt of Congress, accompanied by his attorney Evan Corcoran, right, speaks to the media as he leaves the federal courthouse on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, in Washington. Bannon was sentenced to 4 months behind bars for defying a Jan. 6 committee subpoena.

Jose Luis Magana, Associated Press

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison by a federal judge on Friday over his decision to not testify in front of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

During the trial, U.S. Judge Carl Nichols rejected Bannon’s argument that he couldn’t be forced to testify because of executive privilege and found him guilty of contempt of Congress. At Friday’s sentencing hearing, Nichols also said Bannon would need to pay a $6,500 fine. 

Bannon’s attorney, David Schoen, who represented former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial, spoke for 45 minutes at the sentencing hearing. He quoted from the Federalist Papers and criticized the House committee, the Department of Justice and Congress, according to CNN.

“Mr. Bannon should make no apology,” Schoen said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “He proceeded based on his reasonable, constitutional belief.” 

But J.P. Cooney, and assistant U.S. attorney, said Bannon had “no interest in compliance.” 

“He had an interest in making a public spectacle of the committee’s hearings,” Cooney said. “Throughout this case the defendant has tried to make it about nothing other than politics and retribution. He acted as if he is above the law. He is not.” 

Federal prosecutors had wanted the judge to sentence Bannon to six months in jail, but instead the judge sentenced him to two four-month jail terms, which he said could be served concurrently. 

The judge said Bannon could be released while he files his appeal. After the sentencing hearing, Schoen told reporters they do plan to file an appeal, according to CNN.