Trump Aide Bannon Faces Prison After Supreme Court Rejection

(Bloomberg) -- Steve Bannon, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, lost his fight to stay out of prison while he challenges his conviction for contempt of Congress.

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The US Supreme Court on Friday turned down Bannon’s request to pause his four-month sentence, which is set to start Monday. Bannon sought to put off incarceration until his case could be considered by the country’s highest court after he failed to persuade an appellate panel to overturn his conviction. The court rejected Bannon in a one-sentence order, without any public dissent.

Two years ago, a jury found Bannon guilty of contempt for refusing to testify and hand over documents to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. In his fight to get his conviction overturned, Bannon is challenging a longstanding court decision called Licavoli, which prevented him from using the advice of counsel defense to explain to jurors why he didn’t respond to the congressional inquiry.

Bannon is the latest in a line of Trump aides that have found themselves behind bars. Former White House adviser Peter Navarro is currently serving a four-month sentence in a Florida prison for similar charges. At least half a dozen of other former Trump associates, including Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Allen Weisselberg, have served time.

US District Court Judge Carl Nichols, who had expressed reservations about Licavoli, originally paused Bannon’s jail time because he said the conviction “raises a substantial question of law that is likely to result in a reversal or an order for a new trial.” But after a three-judge appeals court panel refused to overturn Bannon’s conviction, Nichols concluded there was no longer a reason to push off the sentence.

Bannon will be sent to a low-security federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Federal Correctional Institution, which is 55 miles from New York City, was the inspiration for the women’s prison in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. The prison has held celebrities, including TV star Teresa Giudice of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill for tax evasion. Ghislaine Maxwell had requested to spend her 20-year sentence for sex-trafficking there, but ended up at a Florida prison.

--With assistance from Greg Stohr and Erik Larson.

(Updates with other Trump aides that have been imprisoned.)

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