Trump Official Reveals ‘Emergency Bid’ To Avoid Jail

On June 21, Steve Bannon petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to delay his prison sentence while his appeal of a contempt of Congress conviction progresses.

 


 

“If Mr. Bannon is denied release, he will be forced to serve his prison sentence before this Court has a chance to consider a petition for a writ of certiorari, given the Court’s upcoming summer recess.”

Bannon, 70, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, was convicted in 2022 of contempt of Congress and sentenced to four months in prison. He had been allowed to remain free pending appeal, but after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected his appeal in May, a judge recently ordered him to report to prison on July 1.

Bannon sought a stay of the sentence from the appeals court, but a divided panel ruled on June 20 that his request did not warrant staying the sentence. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols had previously allowed Bannon to remain free pending appeal, citing a “substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal [or] an order for a new trial.” However, following the appeals court’s decision, Judge Nichols revoked this allowance on June 6.

Bannon’s legal team argued in an emergency motion to the appeals court that there is a substantial question regarding whether individuals who rely on counsel can be prosecuted under a law that prohibits “willfully” failing to comply with congressional subpoenas. They cited the case of Licavoli v. United States, a 1961 ruling which held that advice from counsel does not excuse deliberate noncompliance with congressional subpoenas.

Despite Bannon’s assertions, prosecutors contended that he failed to demonstrate raising a substantial legal question. U.S. Circuit Judges Cornelia Pillard and Bradley Garcia upheld the application of Licavoli’s precedent, stating that the Supreme Court has consistently supported interpreting the contempt of Congress statute in a manner that aligns with Licavoli’s findings.

However, dissenting U.S. Circuit Judge Justin Walker argued that Bannon’s interpretation of the statute could find favor with the Supreme Court, suggesting that Bannon should not be incarcerated before the Supreme Court can consider his forthcoming petition for certiorari.

Harrison Carter
Harrison Carter
Harrison Carter has been a huge pro wrestling fan since 2002, and it's been his first love ever since then. He has years of writing experience for all things pro wrestling. His interests outside of wrestling include films, books and soccer.

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