United States: Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser, goes to prison to serve his sentence

United States: Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser, goes to prison to serve his sentence
United States: Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser, goes to prison to serve his sentence

Former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon reported to a federal prison in the northeastern United States on Monday, July 1, to begin serving his sentence for obstructing the congressional investigation into the storming of the Capitol. “I’m proud to go to prison today (…) if that’s what it takes to stand up to Joe Biden,” said the populist ideologue, an influential figure in the ultra-conservative movement, upon his arrival at the Danbury penitentiary in Connecticut.

Steve Bannon, 70, who has called himself a “political prisoner,” is now facing four months behind bars after a judge lifted a stay of his sentence following an appeal. Wearing gray pants and a black shirt, he was greeted outside the prison by a small crowd of supporters with “Trump 2024” flags and by one of the most ardent Trump supporters in Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who hugged him in front of the cameras.

Support assured. Although he no longer officially works for Donald Trump, Steve Bannon again assured him of his support on Monday, and he promised that he would use all his influence to promote his re-election, notably via his podcast “War Room”, which will continue without him. “The most important thing is that President Trump is going to be sentenced to prison on July 11th,” he warned, while New York judge Juan Merchan can also pronounce an alternative sentence to incarceration in the case of hidden payments to a porn star for which he was convicted.

Before arriving at Danbury prison, he congratulated himself on his show on the victory of the extreme right in the first round of the legislative elections in France, and on the other good results of this movement in other countries during the European elections: “Our movement is living its moment,” he rejoiced.

Recall of facts. Steve Bannon was sentenced in October 2022 to four months in prison for obstructing the investigative powers of Congress because of his refusal to cooperate with the congressional inquiry into the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, a sentence upheld on appeal on May 10, 2024. The day before January 6, he predicted that “all hell” would break loose.

And on the day that hundreds of Donald Trump supporters stormed the seat of the US Congress in an attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election, Steve Bannon spoke on the phone with the outgoing president.

Less than two weeks later, Donald Trump pardoned his former adviser in a federal case of embezzling funds allegedly intended for the construction of a wall on the United States-Mexico border. He is still charged in a local part of the case in New York. His entry into prison comes on the day that the US Supreme Court, with a conservative majority, again postponed Donald Trump’s federal trial for his alleged attempts to illegally reverse the results of the 2020 election.

Relatives condemned. Steve Bannon joins a list of close and former close associates of Donald Trump sentenced to spend time behind bars in several separate cases linked to the former president of the United States, such as his other former adviser Peter Navarro, his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who became his sworn enemy, or the former financial director of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg.

Donald Trump himself is charged in four separate cases, but only the trial over hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels has taken place, and the other three are not expected to take place before the November 5 presidential election.

Yuki IWAMURA

© Agence France-Presse

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