Earlier this week the Justice Department recommended a six-month sentence and $200,000 fine for Bannon, who was found guilty in July of two charges of contempt of Congress by a federal jury.
The AP said Nichols imposed the sentence after saying the law was clear that contempt of Congress is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of at least one month behind bars; Bannon’s lawyers had argued the judge could instead have sentenced him to probation.
“In my view, Mr. Bannon has not taken responsibility for his actions,” Nichols said before he announced the sentence, the AP noted.
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The House panel had sought Bannon’s testimony over his involvement in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Bannon has yet to testify or provide any documents to the committee, prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors argued Bannon, 68, deserved the longer sentence because he had pursued a “bad faith strategy” and his public statements disparaging the committee itself made it clear he wanted to undermine their effort to get to the bottom of the violent attack and keep anything like it from happening again.
“He chose to hide behind fabricated claims of executive privilege and advice of counsel to thumb his nose at Congress,” prosecutor J.P. Cooney said, according to the AP.
Bannon’s lawyer, David Schoen, argued that his client did what his lawyer told him to do under Trump’s executive privilege objections, the outlet said.
“Quite frankly, Mr. Bannon should make no apology. No American should make any apology for the manner in which Mr. Bannon proceeded in this case,” Schoen also said, according to the AP.
The outlet added that Schoen also defended Bannon’s public remarks about the committee: “Telling the truth about this committee or speaking one’s mind about this committee, it’s not only acceptable in this country, it’s an obligation if one believes it to be true."
“This illegitimate regime, their judgment day is on 8 November when the Biden administration ends," Bannon told reporters as he walked into court Friday, the AP said.
After the hearing, Bannon said he believed Attorney General Merrick Garland would be impeached, the outlet added.
After his July guilty verdict, Bannon told Fox News' Tucker Carlson, "If I go to jail, I go to jail. I will never back off. ... I support Trump and the Constitution, and I'm not backing off one inch."
He added during the TV appearance that "the law is with us" and warned viewers "they're coming for everybody. ... This is an ideological war and we cannot lose. The fate of the country is over the next couple years."