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Trump ally Bannon asks the Supreme Court to delay his 4-month prison sentence on contempt charges

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, asked the Supreme Court on Friday to delay his prison sentence while he fights his convictions for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the attack on U.S. Capitol.

The emergency application came after a federal appeals court panel rejected Bannon’s bid to avoid reporting to prison by July 1 to serve his four-month sentence. It was addressed to Chief Justice John Roberts, who oversees emergency appeals from courts in Washington, D.C.

The high court asked the Justice Department to respond to the request by Wednesday, days before the court is set to begin its summer recess. The court denied a similar request from another Trump aide shortly after receiving a response in March.

Bannon was convicted nearly two years ago of two counts of contempt of Congress: one for refusing to sit for a deposition with the Jan. 6 House Committee and the other for refusing to provide documents related to his involvement in Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Bannon has cast the case as politically motivated, and his attorney David Schoen has said the case raises “serious constitutional issues” that need to be examined by the Supreme Court.

If Bannon goes to prison next month, he will likely have to serve his full sentence before the high court has the chance to review those questions, since the court is due to take its summer recess at the end of June, attorney Trent McCotter wrote in his emergency application.

His lawyer says the former adviser didn’t ignore the subpoena but was still negotiating with the congressional committee when he was charged. His previous attorney told him that the subpoena was invalid because the Republican former president has asserted executive privilege and the committee would not allow a Trump lawyer in the room.

In court papers, Bannon’s lawyers also previously argued that there is a “strong public interest” in allowing him to remain free in the run-up to the 2024 election because Bannon is a top adviser to Trump’s campaign.

Bannon’s prison term has been delayed as he appealed. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols ordered him to turn himself in after an appeals court panel upheld his contempt of Congress convictions.

A second Trump aide, trade adviser Peter Navarro, was also convicted of contempt of Congress. He reported to prison in March to serve his four-month sentence after the Supreme Court refused his bid to delay the sentence.

Courts have rejected his executive-privilege argument, finding Navarro couldn’t prove Trump had actually invoked it.

Bannon is also facing criminal charges in New York state court alleging he duped donors who gave money to build a wall along the U.S. southern border. Bannon has pleaded not guilty to money laundering, conspiracy, fraud and other charges, and that trial has been postponed until at least the end of September.

By LINDSAY WHITEHURST
Associated Press

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