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Washington appeals court upholds Steve Bannon's contempt of Congress conviction

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Friday upheld Steve Bannon's contempt of Congress conviction and sentence. The former Donald Trump advisor ignored a subpoena and refused to testify before the House Jan.6 committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Friday upheld Steve Bannon's contempt of Congress conviction and sentence. The former Donald Trump advisor ignored a subpoena and refused to testify before the House Jan.6 committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

May 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Friday upheld Steve Bannon's contempt of Congress conviction for ignoring a subpoena and refusing to testify before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack.

The court in its ruling unanimously rejected several arguments by Bannon, alleging "that the underlying subpoena was invalid because of the political motives of Select Committee members and procedurally flawed based on the Select Committee's composition and Bannon's non-receipt of a copy."

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"Because the subpoena advanced a valid legislative purpose and Bannon forfeited his procedural objections to it, the district court did not err in denying the motion to dismiss the indictment and excluding evidence supporting those objections as irrelevant," the court decision said. "Accordingly, the district court also did not err in instructing the jury to disregard a reference that Bannon's counsel made in his closing argument."

Bannon was convicted of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress. He was sentenced to four months in prison, but appealed.

He had argued that the district court violated his rights to compulsory process or due process by quashing his trial subpoenas. But the appeals court also rejected those arguments.

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"Quashing his trial subpoenas and denying his motion to exclude all congressional testimony also fail for the same reasons. Both claims require Bannon to show that the evidence lost would be. . . material to his defense," the appeals court decision said.

The appeals court affirmed both the conviction and the sentence imposed by the district court.

Bannon's sentence was delayed until his appeal process played out.

In April the Supreme Court denied a bid by former Trump advisor Peter Navarro to stay his four-month prison sentence for contempt of Congress. Navarro reported to prison march 19.

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