Steve Bannon must surrender to prison by July 1 to start sentence, judge says

Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, must report to prison by July 1 to serve his four-month sentence for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the attack on the U.S. Capitol, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Bannon was found guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress in July 2022 for defying the committee’s subpoenas, but his sentence had been put on hold while he appealed the case. 

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols granted prosecutors’ request to make Bannon begin serving his prison term after a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court last month upheld his contempt of Congress conviction. But Nichols also made clear on Thursday in his ruling that Bannon could seek a stay of his order, which could delay his surrender date.

Nichols, who was nominated to the bench by Trump, a Republican, had initially allowed Bannon to remain free while he fought his conviction. But the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said all of Bannon’s challenges lack merit.


Former Trump White House senior advisor Stephen Bannon. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Bannon told reporters outside the courthouse: "I’ve got great lawyers, and we’re going to go all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to."

RELATED: Steve Bannon indicted by federal grand jury | LiveNOW from FOX

Bannon’s lawyer at trial argued that the charges were politically motivated and that the former adviser didn’t ignore the subpoena but was still engaged in good-faith negotiations with the congressional committee when he was charged.

The defense has said Bannon had been acting on the advice of his attorney at the time, who told him that the subpoena was invalid because the committee would not allow a Trump lawyer in the room, and that Bannon could not determine what documents or testimony he could provide because Trump has asserted executive privilege.

A second Trump aide, trade advisor Peter Navarro, was also convicted of contempt of Congress and reported to prison in March to serve his four-month sentence.

The House Jan. 6 committee’s final report asserted that Trump criminally engaged in a "multi-part conspiracy" to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol.

Trump "lit that fire," the committee’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, wrote.

The 814-page report came after the panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, held 10 hearings and obtained more than a million pages of documents. 

This is a developing story. The Associated Press contributed.