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Will Steve Bannon Actually Go to Prison?

Steve Bannon, New Yorker, festival, speaker

Steve Bannon, chairman of the the far-right website Breitbart News Network and former chief strategist to Donald Trump, has been sentenced to four months in prison. Is it because he’s a terrible person who’s done irreparable harm to the United States? It’d be nice if he were held accountable for spreading racist misinformation and enabling Trump’s rise to power, but that’s not why he may be incarcerated. Here’s what you need to know about Steve Bannon’s conviction.

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What was Steve Bannon convicted of?

In the summer of 2022, Steve Bannon was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress after he ignored a subpoena and refused to testify before the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol Building. Even though the actual conviction was months ago, Bannon is back in the news now because on October 21, 2022, a federal judge sentenced him to four months in prison and fined him $6,500.

Originally, Bannon’s legal team tried to argue that he wasn’t actually required to testify, but the judge rejected those arguments.

Only four months!? After all the awful stuff he’s done?

Over the course of his career, Bannon has allowed racist and antisemitic content to flourish on Breitbart, helped craft the travel ban against travelers from seven majority Muslim countries, prevented refugees from entering the U.S., and generally helped fuel the rise of American fascism and white nationalism. However, he hasn’t been convicted of any crimes relating to any of that stuff. This prison sentence and fine is only for his refusal to testify before the January 6 committee.

Judge Carl J. Nichols, who sentenced him, reportedly said that “others must be deterred from committing similar crimes.” That’s an interesting thing to say, because other people in Trump’s circle were also subpoenaed by the January 6 committee, including Trump himself. Peter Navarro, former trade advisor to Trump, has also been charged with disregarding his subpoena, and his trial begins in November.

So when is Bannon going to prison? Is he there now?

Bannon isn’t in prison yet, and he may not go at all. Bannon has announced that he’ll appeal the judge’s decision, and he’ll remain free until that appeal happens.

(featured image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>

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