WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steve Bannon, Former White House Chief Strategist during the Trump Administration, is preparing for his October sentencing after being found guilty last Friday on charges of contempt of Congress after refusing to cooperate with a subpoena issued by the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol Building.
However, attorneys representing Bannon have been arguing that the ability of their client to receive a fair and unbiased trial was tainted by the enormous amount of publicity surrounding the impending case, citing the committee’s series of public, televised hearings. The hearings, Bannon’s legal team contends, combined with the airing of an hour-long CNN documentary titled “Steve Bannon: Divided We Fall” prior to jury selection for his trial, contributed to an atmosphere of bias during his trial.
During the trial, Judge Carl Nichols also issued several rulings that severely curtailed Bannon’s defense, such as disallowing him from claiming he was allowed to defy the congressional subpoena due to executive privilege, Bannon’s tenure as White House Chief Strategist had concluded several years prior to the attack on the Capitol, or that he was merely following his attorney’s advice not to comply.
It is believed that these complaints will form the basis of Bannon’s appeal, which he and his legal team announced on Friday they would be pursuing.
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But federal prosecutors on Thursday countered the claims of Bannon’s attorneys to Judge Nichols, saying that Bannon himself went out of his way to generate his own form of publicity up to – and during – his trial by holding daily press conferences outside of the very court building where his legal proceedings were taking place.
Bannon, prosecutors noted, also actively promoted the very same CNN documentary that his lawyers decried as potentially swaying to the jury by advertising it several times via the Gettr social media platform that promotes his podcast, “Steve Bannon’s War Room.”
Bannon’s sentencing is currently scheduled for October 21; he faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 30 days and up to one year behind bars, in addition to a fine ranging anywhere from $100 to $100,000.