(FiveNation.com)- The longtime Trump associate Steven Bannon will be sentenced for contempt of Congress on Friday and may spend up to two years in prison, but it’s more probable he’ll do less.
The former White House strategist was convicted of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress in July after he refused to appear before the House Select Committee looking into the assault on the Capitol on January 6.
Bannon, who sought to use contested assertions of executive privilege to justify his refusal to cooperate, faces a year in jail for each count.
Even though the Department of Justice (DoJ) has recommended that Bannon get six months in jail and a $200,000 fine, the actual prison term will almost definitely be lesser.
The Department of Justice said in court documents filed on Monday that Bannon’s “sustained, bad-faith contempt” of Congress warranted a sentence at the “upper end” of official sentencing standards.
According to the prosecution, the one-month minimum term for Bannon was an “insufficient” penalty.
The DoJ said that to date, Bannon remains in default: more than a year after acknowledging delivery of the Committee’s subpoena, he has not provided a single document or responded to a single deposition question—nor has he attempted to do so.
Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, said that while Bannon may spend up to two years in prison, it was “unlikely” that he would get the maximum sentence.
According to Rahmani, federal courts seldom repeatedly run sentences for the same behavior and typically adhere to the sentencing guidelines.
“Bannon’s advisory guideline range is zero to six months in jail due to his lack of criminal history and the fact that he has only been found guilty of petty offenses. The highest end of the range, or six months, is what the government advises.”
Rahmani noted that given the contempt conviction’s minimum one-month penalty, Bannon would undoubtedly spend some time in prison. Bannon’s legal team has advocated for probation.
Bannon’s legal team said in several files on Monday that the Trump loyalist should not go to prison because he relied on his attorney’s counsel, Robert Costello, to contest the subpoena.
Bannon’s new lawyer Evan Corcoran noted that his client was convicted without being permitted to submit evidence denying willfulness, especially proof indicating he relied in good faith on his counsel’s advice.
“Should someone who has spent their whole life seeking the opinion of experts—as a naval officer, investment banker, business leader, and presidential advisor—be imprisoned for doing so?” the lawyer asked.