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‘Not Expressed Remorse’: Steve Bannon Sentenced to Four Months in Prison by Federal Judge for Contempt of Congress

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Former top Trump White House advisor turned far-right wing extremist Steve Bannon has been sentenced to four months in prison by a federal judge, for contempt of Congress. The former executive chairman of Breitbart News and former board member of the infamous data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica refused to comply with a valid and legal subpoena from the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

“Others must be deterred from committing similar crimes,” U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee who clerked with Justice Clarence Thomas, said as he passed down the sentence. He also imposed a fine of $6500. The four month sentence is actually two, but to be served concurrently.

The sentence will be delayed to allow Bannon time to appeal, meaning he was not taken into custody and does not have to go to jail immediately. If he chooses to not appeal he is to report to prison on November 15.

Nichols had told the court as he began sentencing, “Mr. Bannon has not provided a single document,” and “has not provided any testimony on any topic.”

“Mr Bannon was a private citizen,” Judge Nichols continued. “Some of the information sought by the subpoena is information under which no conceivable claim of executive privilege could’ve been made.”

“The January 6th committee has every right to investigate what happened that day,” Nichols told Bannon and his attorneys, adding, and “what can be done to prevent similar .. events from happening in the future.”

Prosecutors had asked Judge Nichols to give Bannon the maximum sentence allowed, which would be six months in prison and a fine of $200,000.

Judge Nichols appeared to chastise the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack for not suing Bannon to enforce their subpoena.

CBS News’ Scott Macfarlane was at the D.C. federal courthouse and posted this photo of Bannon.

Walking into he courthouse Bannon decreed the Biden administration “illegitimate,” and said it will end on November 8.

“The governemnt further argues that Mr. Bannon has not expressed remorse and has attacked the select committee at every turn. On this point I agree with the government,” Judge Nichols said, according to NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “He has expressed no remorse for his actions.”

READ MORE: ‘Crime-Fraud Exception’: Judge Orders Coup Memo Author Eastman to Hand Over More Emails to J6 Committee

Bannon’s attorney backed up his client’s behavior.

“Quite frankly, Mr. Bannon should make no apology. No American should make an apology for the way Mr. Bannon proceeded in this case,” David Schoen told the court, even after Judge Nichols noted Bannon’s attacks on the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.

Bannon’s attorneys had asked for probation, which DOJ adamantly, in court documents, contested.

“In my view the statute sets out a mandatory minimum of one month and a mandatory maximum of 12 months,” Judge Nichols said.

J.P. Cooney, a prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney’s office, defended the request for fining Bannon $200,000 because “that is exactly what the defendant has asked for.”

Barnes reports that “Bannon refused to comply with the probation office’s financial investigation, Cooney says.”

Bannon reportedly also told the prosecutor’s office, “I am willing and able to pay any fine levied against me.”

Prosecutors, arguing for the six month sentence, told Judge Nichols, “This man, the defendant, a man of means, a public figure … chose, hiding behind the fabricated claim of executive privilege and advice of counsel, to thumb his nose” at Congress, according to Politico’s Kyle Cheney.

READ MORE: ‘Under Oath’: Select Committee Votes to Subpoena Trump ‘To Protect Our Republic’ (Video)

Bannon had claimed he was exempt from honoring the subpoena from the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, citing executive privilege, which, as the country later learned, Donald Trump had not invoked in Bannon’s case – not that he would have been able to, as only the sitting U.S. President has that authority.

“DOJ says that if Bannon were genuinely concerned about executive privilege, then he would’ve complied with the Jan. 6 committee subpoena as soon as Trump purported to ‘waive’ it over the summer,” Cheney reports. “But that’s not what he did, DOJ says.”

Bannon’s attorney David Schoen repeatedly delivered caustic attacks about the House Select Committee.

CBS News’ Scott Macfarlane noted that Schoen “is quoting the Federalist Papers (James Madison) about separation of powers… talking about ‘tyranny,'” but added: “Bannon had a hard copy of the Financial Times under his arm as he walked toward courtroom (let’s see if that’s something he wants to show off to cameras as he departs).”

He also was caught “quoting Montesquieu,” and repeatedly accused the January 6 Committee of having a “partisan political agenda.”

Schoen repeatedly told Judge Nichols that Bannon was merely acting on his conscience and understanding of the Constitution, and “acting on principle.” Legal experts say that is not a legitimate defense.

Donald Trump pardoned Bannon from federal charges involving conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering surrounding his We Build the Wall fundraising campaign, but he is now facing similar state charges.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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BREAKING NEWS

DOJ Signals It Is Conducting a Criminal Investigation of George Santos

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice Friday signaled it is conducting a criminal investigation of U.S. Rep. George Santos‘ campaign finances when it asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to pause its probe into the embattled New York freshman GOP lawmaker.

“The request is the clearest sign to date of an active criminal investigation examining the congressman’s campaign finances,” The Washington Post reports.

But NBC News goes one step further.

“Federal prosecutors in New York have opened an investigation into Rep.-elect George Santos, two law enforcement sources confirmed Thursday,” NBC states. “The probe by federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York is at least the second investigation into Santos.”

READ MORE: Another Santos Financial Concern: GOP Lawmaker Claims Campaign Paid WinRed Triple the Fees It Should Have

“The two sources confirmed that prosecutors are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign as he was running for Congress,” NBC adds.

The Santos campaign this week, according to The Daily Beast, amended FEC filings that originally claimed about $625,000 in “personal” loans from the candidate’s personal funds were actually not from the candidates personal funds. Santos has since refused to state where the money came from.

DOJ also asked the FEC for any “relevant documents” for the Santos’ campaign, The Post noted.

READ MORE: Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

“Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday interviewed two people about Santos’s role in Harbor City Capital, an investment firm that was forced to shut down in 2021 after the SEC accused it of operating a ‘classic Ponzi scheme,'” according to The Post’s reporting.

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BREAKING NEWS

Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

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U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) allegedly made a social media post appearing to praise Adolf Hitler while referring to “the Jews and Black” people, and frequently made pejorative “jokes” about being Jewish according to friends interviewed by Patch and screenshots of now-deleted social media posts.

In 2011, Santos “commented on a Facebook post with what appear to be intended-jokes about Hitler, a phrase that appears to salute Hitler and observations about ‘the Jews and black[s],’ exclusive screenshots obtained by Patch show.”

Patch, which published a screenshot of  what appear to be Santos’ comment, reports he had written this: “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh hiiiiiiiiiiiitlerrrrrrrrrrr (hight hitler) lolololololololololololol sombody kill her!! the jews and black [sic] mostly lolllolol!!! Dum”

Sarah Fishkind, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as a political organizer, posted video Thursday afternoon of her conversation with Rep. Santos.

“Do you have any comments about your most-recently-leaked Facebook comments about killing all Jews and Black people?” she asked, according to her post.

“I’m sorry?” Santos, appearing to be stunned, replied.

READ MORE: ‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is

“It’s on the news right. now,” she responded, “that you Facebook commented.”

Santos replied with a frustrated huff, then said: “That’s going to be hard to hold.” It’s unclear what he meant by that comment.

Santos ran and won his congressional seat claiming to be a gay Jewish Republican, only later to falsely claim he never said he was Jewish, but “Jew-ish.” He also lied about his grandparents fleeing the Holocaust.

Jewish groups have condemned his false claims of Jewish heritage, which include false claims that his grandparents were “Holocaust refugees.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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BREAKING NEWS

Trump to Get His Facebook Account Back Two Years After Losing It for ‘Inciting Violent Insurrection’

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Donald Trump, the one-term ex-president who lost the 2020 election by 7 million votes and proceeded to incite a violent and deadly insurrection, will have his Facebook and Instagram accounts reinstated after losing them for what CEO Mark Zuckerberg one day after the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol said was the “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, “will allow former President Donald Trump to return to Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks, the company announced Wednesday,” CNBC reports.

Trump’s attorneys recently sent Meta a letter urging the social media behemoth allow the former president, who currently is under several federal and state criminal investigations as he launches a third run for the White House, to return.

“As a general rule, we don’t want to get in the way of open, public and democratic debate on Meta’s platforms – especially in the context of elections in democratic societies like the United States,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post announcing the decision, CNBC adds. “The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.”

READ MORE: Trump Moves to Return to Twitter and Facebook After Being Banned Over Risk of ‘Incitement of Violence’ and to Public Safety

At 8:36 PM on January 6, 2021, Facebook had publicly announced it was imposing a 24-hour block on then-President Donald Trump, following the deadly riot and insurrection on Capitol Hill. The following day Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social media giant had banned Trump “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”

But later that year in June, Facebook’s Oversight Board decided Trump’s suspension would be in place for just two years, starting in January of 2021, but also appeared to make clear the suspension would be lifted after that time.

“When the suspension is eventually lifted,” Facebook’s Oversight Board said at the time — making clear the suspension would be lifted “when,” and not “if” — “there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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