Trump ex-aide Bannon ordered to prison by July 1

The full appeals court could potentially delay the sentencing if it decides to review the case and issues a ruling to stop the enforcement…reports Asian Lite News

A US federal judge has ordered Steve Bannon, former strategist for Donald Trump, to begin serving his four-month prison sentence by 1 July.

This decision follows a lengthy legal battle, with an appeals court last month upholding Bannon’s 2022 conviction for contempt of Congress.

Bannon, 70, was convicted for refusing to testify before the committee investigating the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot.

Despite the ruling, Bannon and his lawyer, David Schoen, have both expressed their intent to appeal.

Bannon, denying any criminal wrongdoing, called the ruling a “horrible decision” and vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Outside the courthouse, Bannon defiantly stated, “There’s not a prison built or a jail built that will ever shut me up,” claiming that the legal actions against him were attempts to “shut down the Maga movement,” referencing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Schoen argued that Bannon was following legal advice by refusing to testify, asserting that doing so would have violated Trump’s invocation of executive privilege, which protects some presidential communications from being disclosed.

However, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously dismissed this defense, stating that Bannon’s claim “runs headlong into settled law.”

Justice Bradley Garcia wrote that the “advice of counsel” defense was not valid in this context.

The full appeals court could potentially delay the sentencing if it decides to review the case and issues a ruling to stop the enforcement.

Bannon, a key figure in Trump’s 2016 campaign and a former White House chief strategist, left the administration after the violent far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 but remains a prominent ally of Trump.

Similarly, another Trump aide, Peter Navarro, reported to prison in March following his own conviction for contempt of Congress.

Meanwhile recently, an appeals court in Georgia halted criminal trial proceedings in Trump’s 2020 election subversion case while it reviews appeals.

Trump and 18 others were indicted in August over alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the southeastern US state.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and criticised the cases against him as part of a politically motivated attempt to keep him from recapturing the White House.

The order from the Georgia Court of Appeals was issued on Wednesday after the court earlier this week set a tentative October hearing date for the appeal, Xinhua news agency reported.

Trump and several co-defendants in the case have argued that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ relationship with then-special prosecutor Nathan Wade caused a conflict of interest.

Trump and some of his co-defendants in the sprawling racketeering case have been trying to get Willis disqualified from the case because of a romantic relationship she had with Wade, the special prosecutor she hired to help handle the case, reported CNN, adding that the defendants argued that Willis financially benefited from the relationship with Wade, who defence attorneys say covered several vacations for the pair.

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