(LibertySociety.com) – On Nov. 9, political commentator Steve Bannon, 69, appeared in federal appeals court in an attempt to overturn his criminal conviction for defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.
The House committee had sought testimony from Bannon, a former senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, as well as Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro, regarding Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Bannon was convicted in July 2022 on two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress for defying the subpoena. In October 2022, Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison. The sentence was put on hold by U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols while Bannon’s appeal played out. In court documents, he stated that he expected the case to be overturned.
His attorney David Schoen stated that Bannon “acted in the only way” that he was permitted to behave by the law. He stated that Bannon acted on the advice of his lawyer regarding the potential consequences of breaking executive privilege. Schoen added that at trial Bannon was wrongly blocked from making that argument, which was central to his defense.
However, prosecutors stated that Bannon refused to work with the House committee to determine if he could answer any questions despite no longer working at the White House before Jan. 6. Prosecutor Elizabeth Danello stated that “Bannon deliberately chose not to comply” with the subpoena. The case was taken under consideration by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Navarro was convicted in September of contempt of Congress and has stated he will also file an appeal.
Bannon is also facing more charges in New York for fraud, money laundering and conspiracy related to the “We Build the Wall” campaign. The charges allege Bannon falsely promised people that all donations would be used for building the border wall along the U.S. and Mexico border. Prosecutors allege that instead the money donated was used to enrich Bannon and others involved in the campaign. Bannon has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is expected to begin in May.
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