Trump ally Steve Bannon surrenders to federal prison in Danbury

Bannon was convicted for defying a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

John Craven and Associated Press

Jul 1, 2024, 11:55 AM

Updated 20 days ago

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One of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies turned himself in to a federal prison in Danbury on Monday. Steve Bannon will serve a four-month sentence on contempt charges for defying a subpoena from the congressional Jan. 6th Select Committee. The panel was looking into his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“POLITICAL PRISONER”
Before he surrendered around noon, Bannon told supporters that he is the victim of a politically-motivated prosecution.
“I am proud of going to prison,” Bannon told several dozen supporters across the street from the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution. “I’m a political prisoner of Joe Biden and the corrupt Biden establishment.”
The crowd cheered as Bannon and GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia, spoke during a news conference, holding up flags and signs supporting Bannon. A small group of protesters shouted, “Lock him up!” and “Traitor!”
CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS CHARGES
A jury found Bannon guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress: one for refusing to sit for a deposition with the Jan. 6 House Committee, and a second for refusing to provide documents related to his involvement in Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden.
On Monday, Bannon once again falsely claimed the race was rigged.
“[They] lied about the 2020 election,” he told supporters. “They’ve lied about COVID. They've lied about everything that they’ve done to the American people.”
A judge had allowed Bannon to stay free for nearly two years while he appealed, but ordered him to report to prison Monday after an appeals court panel upheld his convictions. The Supreme Court on Friday rejected Bannon’s last-minute appeal to stave off his sentence.
Bannon joins seven other Trump insiders already sent to prison, and even more who currently face charges – including Trump himself. Bannon’s supporters see a double standard.
“If Steve Bannon is going to prison today, then Merrick Garland needs to go to prison for contempt,” said one supporter named Kevin.
Heidi Mara, who traveled from Boston, believes Bannon was unable to get a fair trial in Washington, D.C.
"Not in D.C. Nobody can. They’re all ‘Deep State,’” she said. “I’d do anything for Steve Bannon. He’s being held as a political prisoner, on an illegitimate regime.”
PRISON LIFE
Bannon was defiant before surrendering. But behind prison walls, experts said Bannon should keep a low profile.
“He’s got to avoid problems,” said prison consultant Justin Paperny. “Bannon has frequently said no prison or jail can shut him up. He has to understand how prison staff can view a statement like that.”
Danbury FCI is a low-security facility that mainly houses white-collar criminals, although violent offenders are also incarcerated there. Bannon had asked for a less-restrictive prison camp, but did not qualify due to separate fraud charges he faces in New York.
In the case, prosecutors allege that Bannon defrauded donors to a “Build the Wall” fund. He was arrested on a boat off the Connecticut shoreline in 2020. 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.
The charges are in New York state. During the final hours of his White House term, Trump pardoned Bannon for the federal charges he faced.
“VICTORY OR DEATH”
Bannon is set to be released Nov. 1 – just days before the election – and insisted his incarceration will help Trump’s campaign.
"Victory or death,” he told supporters. “And what I mean by that is, we either win, or we’re going to have the death of the constitutional republic.”
As Bannon took his last steps of freedom, Taylor Greene insisted that his arrest will only strengthen the MAGA movement.
“They’ll show up at city council meetings, county commissioner meetings,” she told reporters. “They run for school board.”


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