US judge orders Trump's ex-adviser Bannon to go to prison

Former US President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon is set to begin a four-month prison sentence on July 1, according to a judge's order. The federal judge granted a request from prosecutors on Thursday. Bannon was sentenced to prison in October 2022 for contempt of Congress, but remained free pending an appeal. His appeal was then dismissed by a federal appeals court four weeks ago.

Bannon reacted combatively to the current order for him to begin his prison sentence: “There is nothing that can silence me and nothing that will silence me,” the 70-year-old told reporters in Washington. No prison has been built “that will ever silence me.” Bannon also predicted that Trump would win a “landslide victory” in the presidential election in November.

The former head of the ultra-right website “Breitbart” was convicted for refusing to comply with a summons from the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. By storming the Capitol building in Washington, fanatical Trump supporters wanted to prevent the election victory of current President Joe Biden against Trump from being formally certified there.

Another key Trump adviser, Peter Navarro, was also convicted of contempt of Congress and has been serving a four-month prison sentence in the US state of Florida since March. Navarro is the highest-ranking former government official to be convicted in connection with Trump's efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election.

Trump himself has been charged in two criminal cases for these attempts to influence the election, in a federal court in Washington and by the judiciary in the state of Georgia. However, it is unclear when trials could take place in these two cases. Trump wants to run against Biden again in the election on November 5.

Bannon was a central figure in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. After Trump's election victory, he became chief strategist in the White House. Trump fired him in August 2017, however. The two right-wing populists then grew closer again. The 70-year-old Bannon also maintains contacts with ultra-right groups in Europe.