Chief Justice Roberts requested briefs in response to Steve Bannon's emergency request for a stay of prison deadline pending appeal

By 
 June 25, 2024

Steve Bannon, a close ally of former President Donald Trump who hosts a popular and influential podcast, is set to report to prison next month to serve a four-month sentence following a 2022 conviction on two counts of contempt of Congress.

That may not happen now following an unexpected move from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, according to former Trump Justice Department senior official Jeff Clark.

In response to a last-ditch plea from Bannon to forestall his prison reporting date while his appeal of the conviction remains pending, Roberts set a date for the Biden DOJ and other pertinent parties to file their responses to Bannon's request for an emergency stay.

Potential "good news" for Bannon

On Friday, Clark posted to his X account a screenshot of the Supreme Court's docket page for Bannon's case and highlighted an entry made that day by Chief Justice Roberts that set Wednesday, June 26, as the filing deadline for responses to Bannon's request for a stay on his July 1 prison reporting date.

Notably, Bannon had just filed his emergency application for continued release pending appeal earlier that same day.

"Some mildly good news for Bannon," Clark wrote. "Chief Justice Roberts has ordered the Biden DOJ to respond to the emergency stay application to keep him out of jail by 4 pm this coming Wednesday, June 26, 2024 at 4 pm. At that point, Steve’s clock will have ticked down to 4 days left before his prison report date of 7/1/24."

"The House must file an amicus brief in support of June 26. The evening of June 26 is when the Supreme Court (or Chief Justice Roberts acting on his own) will start considering the stay application," he added. "The House must be on file before the Supreme Court starts that process for its views to be heard."

Bannon to be locked up and silenced ahead of crucial election

Politico reported on June 6 that D.C. District Judge Carl Nichols, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, reluctantly ordered Bannon to report to prison on July 1 to begin his four-month sentence following his conviction nearly two years earlier on a pair of contempt of Congress charges.

Bannon was held in contempt by the Democrat-run House after he refused to comply with a subpoena issued by the Democrat-run House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- a move Bannon made on the advice of his attorney.

Nichols issued that order after a D.C. appellate court panel had firmly rejected Bannon's appeal, even though Bannon was still pursuing that appeal with the full D.C. Circuit Court and, if necessary, the Supreme Court.

The timing of the order appeared so suspicious that even Politico acknowledged that Bannon, a hugely popular and influential supporter of Trump, would be imprisoned and kept silent during the most crucial months ahead of the 2024 election.

Will Biden DOJ and House Republicans respond?

Nothing has been announced yet, but it would be a surprise if President Joe Biden's DOJ didn't file a response by the Wednesday deadline with its arguments for why a key and vocal supporter of the incumbent's chief political rival should be locked up and silenced over a disputed non-violent "crime" ahead of a crucial election.

As for Clark's suggestion that House Republicans needed to also file a brief with the Supreme Court by the deadline to make their viewpoint known, the Daily Caller reported that Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) sent a letter on Monday urging House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to do exactly that.

"The January 6th Committee tossed aside 200 years of congressional precedent, destroyed evidence, and repeatedly broke House Rules to carry out a political vendetta and cover up Nancy Pelosi and never-Trumper’s role in the security disaster on January 6th," Banks told the outlet before he sent the letter. "It was a fake investigation, and Republicans should urge the Supreme Court to follow established precedent and throw away its illegitimate subpoenas."

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