Steve Bannon sentenced to four months in federal prison for contempt of Congress
Steve Bannon speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's former White House chief strategist, has been sentenced to four months in prison by a federal judge after being convicted of contempt of Congress.

Bannon, a longtime political strategist and vocal advocate for the Republican former president, was found guilty in July on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena to testify.

"Flaunting congressional subpoenas betrays a lack of respect for the legislative branch," Judge Carl Nichols said Thursday. The judge imposed a fine of $6,500 as part of the sentence.

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack subpoenaed Bannon on September 23. He was among the first of dozens of people who have been called to testify on the violent attack that shut down Congress as it convened to certify Joe Biden's election win over Trump two months earlier.

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The committee said it has reason to believe Bannon has "information relevant to understand important activities that led to and informed the events at the Capitol."

The committee pointed to his presence at activities focused on blocking Congress's certification session the day before, when he said: "All hell is going to break loose tomorrow."

After Trump claimed executive privilege to block aides from testifying and to prevent the committee from accessing documents from his administration, Bannon said he would not testify until questions over privilege had been resolved.

The House then voted to refer contempt of Congress charges to the Justice Department. Each count carries a penalty of one month to one year in jail.

The Justice Department said in a sentencing recommendation that the 68-year-old Bannon should receive the six-month sentence and pay a fine of $200,000 because he repeatedly sought to delay the proceedings by hinting he might cooperate.

Bannon "has pursued a bad-faith strategy of defiance and contempt," the department said.

With additional reporting by AFP