Lawyers for former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon will appear in federal appeals court Thursday in a bid to overturn his four-month prison sentence for his refusal to cooperate with a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee.
Bannon was sentenced in October of last year to four months in federal prison along with a $6,500 fine, but U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols suspended the sentence until the appeals process plays out. Bannon was charged with contempt of Congress for defying congressional subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee, which led to his conviction on two counts in July of last year after a jury trial.
Bannon, who hosts the “Bannon’s War Room” podcast, has argued that he should have been permitted to invoke executive privilege and other defenses before the jury in the trial.
“The lower court erred by prohibiting Mr. Bannon from putting his defenses before the jury in this case, in violation of his rights under the 5th and 6th Amendments to the United States Constitution,” Bannon’s attorney David Schoen wrote in a brief to the court in May.
“Bannon was barred from putting on any evidence or argument that he believed he responded to the subpoena in the only way the law permitted once executive privilege was invoked, and that he acted in the manner his experienced lawyer directed him that he had to act as a matter of law,” Schoen added.
After Bannon’s sentencing, Schoen claimed his client had followed the advice of counsel at the time in snubbing the Jan. 6 committee’s subpoenas and argued that Bannon respected a claim of executive privilege from former President Donald Trump — a claim prosecutors had disputed.
“Quite frankly, Mr. Bannon should make no apology,” Schoen said after Bannon’s sentencing last year, adding: “No American should make an apology for the way Mr. Bannon proceeded in this case.”
“There is nothing here to deter. There is nothing here to punish,” he said.
Bannon served in the White House during the first seven moths of Trump’s presidency.
The House Jan. 6 committee disbanded at the beginning of this year without receiving information from Bannon.
Separately, Bannon was subpoenaed in special counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigation into Jan. 6 and Trump’s efforts to stay in office, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News in June.