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DOJ Asks Court to Sentence Steve Bannon to Six Months for ‘Sustained Bad Faith Contempt of Congress’

This coming Friday, Steve Bannon will be sentenced for his conviction of contempt of Congress.

On January 5th, 2021, Steve Bannon promised that “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow… ” which, in hindsight, nearly proves that Bannon knew that things would get violent. There were very few witnesses that the Committee needed to depose more urgently than Bannon. But, instead of showing up and pleading the Fifth or asserting some bizarre privilege, Bannon acted as if his proximity to Trump gave him some kind of transcendent “very close to Trump” privilege, vitiating all duties as a normal citizen, and refused. In the end, things worked as they should, and a jury needed less than three hours to find him guilty of contempt. Now, DOJ wants the court to slap a six-month sentence for his “sustained bad faith contempt.” The Justice Department wants to send a message. They’re tired of the lawless MAGA movement:

There is a natural tendency for people who don’t work in the legal system to say, “That’s it?” But a six-month sentence on two misdemeanors is a very stiff sentence. Moreover, there is an interesting dynamic here in that, normally, DOJ makes its sentencing recommendation, the defense argues for a far more lenient sentence, and the judge often comes in somewhere in between, usually closer to DOJ’s recommendation. But there is very little precedent in these types of crimes. Contempt of Congress is rarely prosecuted. There are guidelines as to the proper sentence, but there are aggravating circumstances that are hard to quantify. It is possible that this could be one of those rare instances when a judge goes above even the Justice Department’s recommendation. A judge could find Bannon’s behavior to be more dangerous, more sinister, and more culpable than even the prosecutors appreciate and slap on nine months.

We will find out on Friday when Bannon will almost surely begin his sentence. Bannon will likely ask for a week or two to present himself to the jail, but the judge may refuse and have him just sent down the “back hall” from the courtroom. It will be worth watching.

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