CNN

Steve Bannon, the ex-adviser to former President Donald Trump, will be sentenced on Friday for criminal contempt of Congress after defying of a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.

The sentencing will unfold in a federal courtroom in Washington, DC. Judge Carl Nichols – a Trump appointee – will hand down the penalty in proceedings that will begin at 9 a.m. ET.

The sentencing is a milestone moment in the Justice Department’s response to January 6, as prosecutors say that by “flouting” the committee’s subpoena, Bannon “exacerbated” the assault on the rule of law that the US Capitol attack amounted to. It may also bolster the leverage lawmakers have in securing cooperation of witnesses resistant to participating in congressional investigations.

Bannon was convicted this summer – by a jury that deliberated for less than three hours – for two counts of contempt: one for his refusal to testify in the investigation and the other for his failure to turn over the documents the committee demanded. Each count carries a maximum imprisonment of one year, though the sentence that will be handed down Friday will likely be shorter.

Bannon is also appealing his case, as his lawyers continue to claim that he believed executive privilege concerns precluded his cooperation with the House investigation. Prosecutors countered that argument in court filings showing that Trump’s own attorney was not on board with Bannon stiffing the House probe.

Here’s what to know going into Bannon’s sentencing:

Nichols will not only be deciding what punishment Bannon should face; the judge will also determine whether that punishment will wait until after the Trump ally’s appeal of his conviction has played out.

Bannon has asked the judge to delay his sentence until after the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit considers his case, a process that could take several months. Nichols may be inclined to grant that request.

The contempt of Congress charge is only a misdemeanor. And throughout the proceedings, Nichols has expressed sympathy to the legal arguments Bannon was making about why the government’s case against him was flawed. The judge said, however, that he was bound by decades-old DC Circuit precedent that severely limited what kind of evidence Bannon could put forward in his defense.

“This case presents a unique chance to update the law,” Bannon said in his request that the sentence be paused while the case is appealed.

In a filing Thursday, the Justice Department made clear that it opposes the ex-Trump adviser’s request, saying the court should “require the Defendant to report to serve his sentence in the ordinary course.”

The Justice Department told the judge in court filings that Bannon should serve six months in prison for his crimes, with prosecutors emphasizing the “bad faith” they say Bannon showed in how he approached both the subpoena and the prosecution that was brought against him.

Such a sentence would be on the upper end of the 1-6 months sentencing range contemplated by the guidelines the US Probation Office put forward.

The DOJ sentencing memo attacked the arguments Bannon put forward that he was merely listening to the advice of his attorneys in not complying, as the prosecutors highlighted the fiery remarks he made publicly about the case.

“The Defendant has expressed no remorse for his conduct and attacked others at every turn. The Court should reject the Defendant’s request to be credited with acceptance of responsibility that he has never shown,” the prosecutors wrote.

Bannon is requesting that the judge sentence him only to probation. In doing so, his filings with the court have not stressed his remorse but rather argued how unfair it would be for him to be jailed. Bannon teed up suggestions that the prosecution had partisan motivations, while claiming that the case law that shaped his trial was “outdated” and that he was only listening to the advice of his lawyers in not complying with the subpoenas.

“Should a person be jailed where the prosecutor declined to prosecute others who were similarly situated – with the only difference being that this person uses their voice to express strongly held political views?” he wrote.

Bannon also floated the idea that he be allowed to serve a sentence the judge imposes in home confinement.

Prosecutors in the Thursday filing called Bannon’s recommendation that he be sentenced to only probation “unlawful,” as they pointed to the one month minimum that the congressional contempt statute sets.

The DOJ filing said the only exemptions that allow for courts to go below statutory minimums are for certain drug cases and for defendants that offer substantial assistance to law enforcement.

“The Defendant should be held accountable like any other citizen found guilty of a federal crime—as mandated by law, the Court should impose a term of imprisonment, not probation,” the department said.

Bannon’s offense also comes with a maximum fine of $200,000 – $100,000 per count. According to the DOJ’s filings, Bannon has already conceded to paying that maximum penalty because he refused to share with the probation office details about his finances.

“Rather than disclose his financial records, a requirement with which every other defendant found guilty of a crime is expected to comply, the Defendant informed Probation that he would prefer instead to pay the maximum fine. So be it,” prosecutors wrote. “This Court should require the Defendant to comply with the bargain he proposed when he refused to answer standard questions about his financial condition.”

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