by Natalia Mittelstadt
The sentencing of ex-Trump White House political adviser Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress concluded Friday morning with four-month imprisonment and a $6,500 fine.
The judge overseeing the case said that while Bannon poses a “very small risk of recidivism with regard to congressional subpoenas,” there must be a deterrence for others to commit “similar crimes,” NBC News reported.
Federal prosecutors had recommended a punishment of six-month behind bars, which has been followed by Bannon asking for probation or home confinement that would be halted pending appeal.
The Justice Department in its sentencing recommendation Monday also asked the federal judge in the case to impose a $200,000 fine on Bannon, who was found guilty in July of contempt for refused to comply with subpoenas from the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 committee to testify.
Bannon’s lawyers unsuccessfully argued they and their client were continuing to negotiate with the committee about the terms of the subpoenas.
Bannon has agreed to pay the maximum $200,000 fine because he didn’t want to disclose his finances to the probation office, according to CNN.
The two counts of contempt included his refusal to testify and refusal to hand over documents sought be the committee, which each count carrying a maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment. However, the sentencing range guidelines of the U.S. Probation Office is one to six months.
Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is overseeing the trial proceedings. Bannon’s appeal of the ruling is to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Bannon’s lawyers rhetorically questioned in their filing Monday whether a person should “be jailed for relying on the advice of his lawyers” or in situations where the prosecutor declined to prosecute similar cases.
“Because we believe that the answer to each of these questions is no, we respectfully ask this Court to impose a sentence of probation, and to stay the imposition of sentence pending appeal,” they wrote.
The DOJ countered the Bannon’s arguments about him simply following his attorneys’ advice.
“The Defendant has expressed no remorse for his conduct and attacked others at every turn. The Court should reject the Defendant’s request to be credited with acceptance of responsibility that he has never shown,” the prosecutors wrote.
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Natalia Mittelstadt is a reporter at Just the News. Mittelstadt graduated from Regent University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Studies and Government.
Photo “Steve Bannon” by Gage Skidmore CC2.0.