Analysis: Steve Bannon just got what he always wanted


Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison on Friday for failing to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

And, in a strange way, it’s what he’s always wanted.

Bannon, despite a stint as an adviser to President Donald Trump, has always cast himself as an outsider to the political establishment. And that person has tried to improve since he was fired from the White House in 2017.

Bannon has delved into the completely baseless idea of ​​a “deep state” bureaucracy that not only controls everything that happens in Washington, but is aggressive against people’s rights.

After the verdict was announced, Bannon was defiant.

“On November 8, there will be a trial on the illegal Biden regime,” Bannon said. “And frankly, Nancy Pelosi and the entire committee.” He added that voters will “weigh and weigh” the actions of the FBI and the January 6 Congressional investigation.

Bannon also promised to appeal the verdict. And the judge said Bannon would not serve prison time while that appeals process takes place.

While all this is happening, you can be sure that Bannon will not only find himself a political prisoner, but that anti-Trump forces will be unfairly punished for his unwillingness to challenge the former president. (Bannon has argued that he could not comply with a congressional subpoena because his conversations with Trump are protected by executive privilege.)

Bannon’s attorney, David Schoen, previewed how Bannon will paint himself in his remarks at the sentencing hearing. “This is a case where Mr. Bannon doesn’t have to apologize,” Schoen said. “No American should have to apologize.”

What Bannon can say now is that he believes so much in Trump (and the broader idea of ​​a conspiracy against the former president) that he is willing to go to jail to defend those views.

It gives him street cred with his audience that he didn’t have before. Now it’s not just words for Bannon. Actions too.

Bannon has always enjoyed the image of defiance in the face of perceived injustice. Even when he was inside the walls of the White House, Bannon was clearly confused by his belief that the crusade was nothing more than an outsider.

It’s a similar image to what Trump tries to project. The former president is heavily invested in the idea that he is constantly being harassed by ill-intentioned people willing to do anything to get him.

None of the above means that Bannon wants to serve prison time. He is appealing his sentence for a reason, after all.

But the point is, for someone like Bannon, being prosecuted and punished for refusing to comply with a Jan. 6 committee subpoena is, depressingly, very good for business.