Justice Department Recommends 6 Months in Prison, $200K Fine for Steve Bannon

A jury found Bannon guilty in July over his refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the House committee investigating the 2020 election aftermath and Jan. 6 Capitol riots

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday recommended that Steve Bannon, a former top aide to President Donald Trump, be sentenced to six months in prison and fined $200,000 for defying a subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 Committee.

In a court filing Monday, federal prosecutors wrote that Bannon should receive "the top end of the Sentencing Guidelines' range," due to his "sustained, bad-faith contempt of Congress" and "based on his insistence on paying the maximum fine rather than cooperate with the Probation Office's routine pre-sentencing financial investigation," CNN reports.

Bannon was found guilty by a jury in July over his refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the House committee investigating the 2020 election aftermath and Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

He is set to be sentenced on Friday.

The 68-year-old former media executive was among the first four witnesses in Trump's inner circle to be subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee, which wrote in a letter dated Sept. 23, 2021, that it had reason to believe Bannon had relevant information on "important activities that led to and informed" the Jan. 6 insurrection, including his comments on Jan. 5 that "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow."

Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump
Steve Bannon (left) and former President Donald Trump. Kay Nietfeld/picture alliance via Getty; JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty

Bannon was directed to produce documents by Oct. 7, 2021, and appear for a deposition a week later but missed those deadlines. In November 2021, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on the two counts, one for refusing to testify and another for failing to provide the committee with relevant materials.

He has maintained that the indictment was "all noise," while his legal team argued that he didn't ignore the subpoena, but rather that he believed he was engaged in talks with the committee over Trump's claims of executive privilege as the deadlines passed.

Bannon faces other legal issues as well. Just last month he was indicted by a New York State Supreme Court jury for an alleged scheme involving his nonprofit, We Build the Wall, Inc.

The indictment came after Bannon and the nonprofit engaged in "a year-long fundraising scheme in which they defrauded thousands of donors across the country out of more than $15 million to line their own pockets, and then laundered the proceeds to further advance and conceal the fraud," the New York attorney general's office alleged in a statement.

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A New York State Supreme Court grand jury indictment charged Bannon and We Build the Wall with two counts of money laundering in the second degree, two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree, one count of scheme to defraud in the first degree, and one count of conspiracy in the fifth degree.

In 2020, Bannon was charged by federal prosecutors over the alleged fundraising scheme. While he received a federal pardon from Trump in the final hours of the administration, presidential pardons do not apply to state investigations like the one in New York.

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