Federal prosecutors urged a judge to make former President Trump’s political confidant Stephen Bannon the first person to be imprisoned for contempt of Congress in more than half a century, recommending he serve six months for refusing to cooperate with a House committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. They also sought to fine Bannon the maximum $200,000 because he refused to cooperate with court officials’ routine presentencing investigation and divulge his financial records, reports the Washington Post. “The Defendant’s contempt of Congress was absolute and undertaken in bad faith. To date he remains in default,” said prosecutors J.P. Cooney and Amanda Vaughn. “For his sustained, bad-faith contempt of Congress, the Defendant should be sentenced to six months’ imprisonment … and fined $200,000—based on his insistence on paying the maximum fine rather than cooperate with the Probation Office’s routine pre-sentencing financial investigation."
Bannon was convicted in July by a federal jury on two misdemeanor counts — for refusing to provide either testimony or documents — each punishable by at least 30 days and up to one year in jail. The House committee investigating the Capitol attack featured Bannon last week, citing evidence lawmakers said indicated he had advance knowledge of Trump’s intent to declare victory falsely on election night and his plans for Jan. 6. “All hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” Bannon said on his radio show the day before the attack. Three days before the Nov. 3, 2020, election, he told associates from China, “What Trump’s gonna do is just declare victory. Right? He’s gonna declare victory. But that doesn’t mean he’s a winner … He’s just gonna say he’s a winner.” Bannon’s defense is expected to request a noncustodial sentence or probation. Bannon, 68, a right-wing podcaster and former chief Trump campaign and White House strategist, is the closest person to Trump to be convicted of a crime after the attack on Congress as it met to confirm the 2020 presidential election result.