Live Updates: Steve Bannon’s sentencing hearing


Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon will be indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday for contempt of Congress for refusing to subpoena a House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

Federal prosecutors want Bannon to face up to six months in prison and a $200,000 fine, which is more severe than the 30-day jail sentence under federal law. Bannon is asking for probation and a stay of sentencing pending his appeal.

Here are the key things to know about the case and sentencing:

Verdict: After hearing evidence and witness testimony for nearly two days, the jury unanimously found the two defendants in contempt in less than three hours.

Bannon smiled as the verdict was read, looking back and forth between the courtroom deputy and the foreman. Bannon’s team did not present a defense at the trial, and did not take the stand. Speaking to reporters after the sentencing, attorney David Schoen said they plan to appeal the verdict, which he called a “bullet-proof appeal.”

In a Justice Department news release announcing the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves for the District of Columbia said “the subpoena to Stephen Bannon was not an invitation that could or should be ignored.”

Why Conviction Matters: It was a victory for the Jan. 6 House select committee, which continues to seek the cooperation of reluctant witnesses in its historic investigation. It was also a victory for the Justice Department, which is scrutinizing its approach to matters related to the January 6 attack.

Bannon is one of two uncooperative witnesses at the Jan. 6 panel that the Justice Department has so far charged in contempt of Congress. Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro was indicted by a grand jury last month for failing to comply with a committee subpoena and has pleaded not guilty.

Why the committee wanted Bannon’s cooperation: In seeking his cooperation, the committee highlighted Bannon’s contacts with Trump before the Capitol attack, his presence in the so-called war room of Trump allies at the Willard Hotel in Washington the day before the riots and an announcement. He said on his podcast before the riots that “all hell” would “break loose”.

The role of the executive privilege in case of: When the House committee was seeking his cooperation, Bannon’s lawyer said Trump’s assertions about executive privilege prevented Bannon from testifying or making arguments, an argument the committee flatly rejected. The lawmakers noted that Bannon had not been a government official in years and expressed interest in matters outside of conversations with Trump.

In the trial, however, Bannon’s arguments about executive privilege were not the main focus, although his lawyers found ways to draw attention to the issue. They did so in the face of the judge’s rulings, which he considered to be largely irrelevant, according to the background of the appeal, with the elements of the crime of contempt.