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Steve Bannon appeals contempt conviction, prison sentence delayed

Steve Bannon (C), former adviser to former President Donald Trump, filed an appeal Monday of his conviction for contempt of Congress, delaying his four-month prison sentence. File photo by Jemal Countess/UPI
Steve Bannon (C), former adviser to former President Donald Trump, filed an appeal Monday of his conviction for contempt of Congress, delaying his four-month prison sentence. File photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon remains free Monday after appealing his conviction on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress.

Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison more than two weeks ago after being convicted of contempt of Congress in July.

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The adviser to former President Donald Trump refused orders to appear from the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and was indicted more than a year ago for defying a congressional subpoena.

On Friday, Bannon filed a notice to appeal his conviction. Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia ruled Monday to delay Bannon's prison term until his appeal processes through the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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The grounds on which Bannon is appealing the conviction are not yet confirmed, though it is expected that his legal team will argue that he was acting on the advice of counsel to not appear before the House Committee.

His previous claim to the committee was that he could not testify because of executive privilege, a tactic the former president has also used in attempts to avoid cooperating with the committee.

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Bannon's team said he was advised by attorney Robert Costello to defy the congressional subpoena and was simply doing as he was advised to do.

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"The facts of this case show that Mr. Bannon's conduct was based on his good-faith reliance on his lawyer's advice," Bannon's legal team wrote, CBS News reports. "Mr. Costello provided advice to Mr. Bannon, and Mr. Bannon acted on that advice."

Bannon's attorneys also asserted that he is being politically targeted and that it is inappropriate for him to be tried in a criminal case. "Mr. Bannon should make no apology," his attorney David Schoen said.

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