A D.C. federal judge sentenced Stephen K. Bannon to four months in prison on Friday for contempt of Congress, charges that stemmed from him dodging a subpoena issued by the January 6 committee last year.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols for the District of Columbia also imposed a $6,500 fine. Nichols said that he would stay the execution of the sentence so long as Bannon filed a “timely” appeal.
“Flaunting congressional subpoenas betrays a lack of respect for the legislative branch,” Nichols reportedly remarked before issuing the sentence.
Reports from the courthouse suggested that Bannon remained defiant, while Nichols agreed with the basics: the Committee has a right to investigate, and Bannon was not justified in defying the subpoena.
Prosecutors had sought a six month term behind bars for Bannon and a maximum fine of $200,000. Bannon had refused to comply with the financial records portion of the presentence investigation, prosecutors said, instead saying he would be willing to pay the maximum to avoid it.
Bannon has struck a defiant pose since first receiving a subpoena last year, ostentatiously refusing to comply while proclaiming that the Committee, DOJ investigation, and Biden administration were all illegitimate.
At sentencing, Bannon attorney Doug Schoen channeled that same pose, with multiple reports saying that he claimed that Bannon never believed “in any way, shape, or form” that his conduct violated the law.
Schoen also reportedly told Nichols that if Bannon had truly wanted to defy Congress, he would have said, verbatim, “screw you, Congress. Take your subpoena and shove it.”
“Mr Bannon is entitled, obligated to speak out about the committee, as he has,” Schoen also said, per reports.
Assistant U.S. Attorney J. P. Cooney said, per multiple reports from the courthouse, that Bannon had used the January 6 Committee hearings to create a “public spectacle,” and asked that he be “treated like any other citizen.”