Former Trump adviser Steve Bannons trial concluded today as he was sentenced to four months in prison and dealt a $6,500 fine.
Before announcing the sentence, US District Judge Carl Nichols laid out the factors cutting in favor and against substantial sentence for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon
Nichols called the events of Jan. 6 “serious,” and backed the committee’s interest in investigating it.
He said there were “problems” with Bannon’s position that the Trump assertions of privilege precluded him testifying or turning over any document. Nichols said that it was possible that some of the documents Bannon had or topics he would have been asked about could have been covered by privileged, but as a private citizen who had been out of government for years, Bannon was less likely to have privileged documents than others.
The judge also pointed to the failure of Bannon to produce any documents to the committee, or assemble a privilege log. Those factors cut towards a harsher sentence, the judge said.
In Bannon’s favor, the judge said, was that the subpoena did raise potential legal issues, because it concerned someone who spoke directly to the President. Nichols noted that Bannon did not ignore the subpoena outright, and was using a lawyer to engage with the committee. He also said the committee’s move to quickly hold hold Bannon in contempt, rather than using a civil lawsuit to force compliance, cut in Bannon’s favor. The judge also highlighted some aspects of Bannon’s resume.
Nichols reiterated that Bannon has not shown remorse, but said that Bannon had been compliant with the conditions of his pretrial release and in all proceedings in his court.
“I conclude that Mr. Bannon appears to be of perhaps some very small risk of recidivism,” the judge said, at least when it comes to subpoenas.
Also weighing on the sentence, the judge said, was that others must be deterred of similar crimes.