Sunday, December 10, 2023

Bannon Is 1st Person Sentenced for Contempt of Congress in Decades; Vows Payback

'Merrick Garland will end up being the first attorney general that's brought up on charges of impeachment, and he will be removed from office...'

(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) Steve Bannon, a one-time Trump campaign adviser and MAGA impressario, defiantly pledged to help corrupt Attorney General Merrick Garland make history after himself becoming the first person to be convicted and sentenced for contempt of Congress since the early 1980s.

“The Biden administration ends on the evening of the 8th of November,” Bannon said Friday in a post-hearing press conference outside the Washington, D.C., courthouse where he was sentenced to serve four months behind bars after defying a subpoena from House Democrats’ partisan Jan. 6 committee.

“And one other thing is the Department of Justice—Merrick Garland will end up being the first attorney general that’s brought up on charges of impeachment, and he will be removed from office,” Bannon added amid a growing din of unhinged hecklers.

In addition to the prison time, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols also imposed a fine of $6,500 as part of the sentence.

However, Bannon expressed his gratitude to the judge for allowing him to stay free pending appeal. The former Breitbart editor promised a long legal battle ahead during his impromptu press conference.

“Today was my judgement day before the judge, and he stated for the appeal and we’ll have a very vigorous appeals process,” Bannon said.

“I’ve got a great legal team, and there’ll be multiple areas of appeal,” he continued. “But …
on Nov. 8 there’s gonna have judgment on the illegitimate Biden regime—and, quite frankly … we know which way that’s going.”

He noted that many of the committee members and, more broadly, House Democrats, already have been held accountable for the harm inflicted on the American people as they cyincally fixated on the mostly peaceful Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol and ignored the problems really plaguing America.

“Either they’ve already been turfed out, like Liz Cheney, right, or they’ve quit like [Illinois Rep. Adam] Kinzinger and other Democrats, or they’re about to be beaten like [Virginia Rep. Elaine] Luria and others, or they will lose their power and become a minority,” Bannon said.

“… This is democracy—the American people are weighing and measuring what went on with the Justice Dept. and how they comported themselves,” he added.

Bannon was convicted in July of two counts of contempt of Congress: one for refusing to sit for a deposition and the other for refusing to provide documents.

He maintained, however, that he was legally following the process of challenging the subpoena while asserting executive privilege over the private conversations he had with then-President Donald Trump leading up to the Jan. 6 “Save America” rally on the National Mall near the Capitol.

Nichols handed down the sentence after saying the law was clear that contempt of Congress is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of at least one month behind bars.

Bannon’s lawyers had argued the judge could’ve sentenced him to probation instead. Prosecutors had asked for Bannon to be sent to jail for six months.

Prosecutors argued Bannon, 68, deserved the longer sentence because he had pursued a “bad faith strategy” and his public statements disparaging the committee itself made it clear he wanted to undermine their effort to get to the bottom of the violent attack and keep anything like it from happening again.

“He chose to hide behind fabricated claims of executive privilege and advice of counsel to thumb his nose at Congress,” said prosecutor J.P. Cooney.

“Your honor, the defendant is not above the law and that is exactly what makes this case important,” Cooney said. “It must be made clear to the public, to the citizens, that no one is above the law.”

Bannon said he followed the same process as he did when testifying in previous Democrat witch hunts, including the Mueller investigation into the Russia-collusion hoax and Rep. Adam Schiff’s secretive star-chamber hearings during Democrats’ first impeachment attempt against Trump.

“This thing about ‘I’m above the law’ is an absolute and total lie,” Bannon said.

The last person to be convicted of the rarely-used law was Rita Lavelle, an EPA official indicted for lying to Congress in 1983.

Despite having been found in contempt, high-profile Democrats including then-Attorney General Eric Holder and IRS chief Lois Lerner were able to dodge accountability during the Obama administration because the Justice Department refused to arraign them.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who openly flouted Congressional subpoenas by destroying communications devices with a hammer and bleaching her private e-mail server during an investigation prior to the 2016, was never even brought up on contempt charges, although her campaign IT director, Bryan Pagliano, was considered for them.

Before the judge handed down the sentence Friday, Bannon’s lawyer, David Schoen, gave an impassioned argument railing against the committee and saying Bannon had simply done was his lawyer told him to do under Trump’s executive privilege objections.

“Quite frankly, Mr. Bannon should make no apology. No American should make any apology for the manner in which Mr. Bannon proceeded in this case,” he said.

Schoen also defended Bannon’s public remarks about the committee: “Telling the truth about this committee or speaking one’s mind about this committee, it’s not only acceptable in this country, it’s an obligation if one believes it to be true,” Schoen said.

Bannon is also facing separate money laundering, fraud and conspiracy charges in New York related to the “We Build the Wall” campaign. Bannon has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Bannon falsely promised donors that all money would go to constructing a wall at the U.S.–Mexico border, but instead was involved with transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to third-party entities and using them to funnel payments to two other people involved in the scheme.

Although Trump pardonned him from any wrongdoing at the federal level, corrupt New York prosecutors, led by state Attorney General Letitia James, have routinely abused their power to attack Trump and his allies at the state level, mirroring the strategy of House Democrats and the Biden administration at the federal level.

Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at truthsocial.com/@bensellers. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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