Steve Bannon’s Refusal to Pay Legal Fees Could Cost Him Thousands in Fines

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For the past two years, Steve Bannon has been caught up in a tussle with his ex-lawyer over a hefty sum of money. Despite owing half a million dollars, Bannon has stubbornly avoided paying up. Inevitably, this has led to potential sanctions for him and his current attorney.

“Bannon, with the aid of his counsel, has, for months, done nothing but intentionally stall and delay the plaintiff’s enforcement of its valid money judgment,” the law firm that previously represented him wrote to a New York state judge last month.

Meet Stephen Kevin Bannon

Stephen Kevin Bannon, born on November 27, 1953, is an American media executive, political strategist, and used to be a banker. He worked as the top strategist in the White House during the first seven months of Donald Trump’s presidency.

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Bannon used to lead Breitbart News and was on the board of Cambridge Analytica, a company that’s not around anymore. He also sailed the seas with the U.S. Navy for seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

From Military To Finance To Hollywood

After his adventurous military days, he dove into the world of finance, spending two years at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker.

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In 1993, he became acting director of the research project, Biosphere 2. Then, he switched gears and became an executive producer in Hollywood, producing a whopping 18 films from 1991 to 2016. Talk about a blockbuster journey!

Bannon’s White House Rollercoaster

Fast forward to 2016, Bannon skyrocketed to fame as the CEO of Trump’s presidential campaign. He was later crowned chief strategist and senior counselor to the President after Trump’s victory.

Source: npr

But the ride didn’t last long – just eight months later, Bannon waved goodbye to the White House and headed back to Breitbart. In January 2018, Trump gave him the boot for wrong comments on Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury. Not long after, Bannon left Breitbart too.

Bannon’s Political Gambit

After leaving the White House, Bannon shook things up by going against the Republican Party’s usual ways. He threw his support behind new faces in Republican primary elections.

Source: X/thehill

But his political mojo took a hit when his pick, Roy Moore, lost the 2017 Senate race in Alabama. Despite this setback, Bannon boldly declared his mission to lead a global populist movement. He gave support to conservative movements worldwide and even formed a network of right-wing groups in Europe.

Border Wall Scam: We Build The Wall

But Bannon’s journey took a legal twist in August 2020 when he and three others got nabbed for allegedly scheming to defraud people through a fundraising campaign called “We Build the Wall.”

Source: Vice / China Daily Network

They promised the money would go to, you guessed it, building a border wall, but the indictment claimed they lined their own pockets instead. Bannon pleaded innocent, but his legal saga wasn’t over yet.

A Very Strange Plot Twist

In a last-minute twist, on Trump’s final day in office, he pardoned Bannon, sparing him from facing trial. But Bannon’s legal woes continued when New York state charged him with fraud and conspiracy related to the same campaign.

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Bannon’s social media misadventures didn’t help either. He previously suggested that the federal government’s infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be executed. His Twitter account got the boot for his efforts.

From Subpoena Snub To Guilty Verdict

Bannon got himself in hot water in October 2021 when he snubbed a subpoena from Congress. This didn’t sit well with the committee investigating the Capitol attack, landing Bannon with a contempt of Congress charge.

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A federal grand jury piled on with two criminal charges for the same offense. Fast forward to July 2022, Bannon faced a jury trial and was found guilty on both counts.

A Game Of Cat And Mouse

The judge handed him a four-month prison sentence and a hefty $6,500 fine on October 21, 2022. And it’s only gotten worse since then.

Source: Daily Mail Online

Despite a New York state judge’s order seven months ago to pay his overdue legal fees totaling $484,197 to his defense lawyer, Bob Costello, Bannon has been playing a game of cat and mouse with the court.

Dodging Judgment And Subpoenas

Court documents reveal that he’s been skirting the judgment and ignoring repeated subpoenas. This has left the law firm of Davidoff Hutcher and Citron frustrated.

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His actions have pushed them to ask the judge to step in yet again. They’ve labeled his actions as “a last-ditch effort concocted by Bannon to game this court.”

Digging Into Bannon’s Money Matters

In their bid to assess Bannon’s financial situation and his ability to settle the debt, the law firm sought to grill him under oath and subpoenaed information about his businesses and personal bank accounts.

Source: Steven Hirsch

Initially, Bannon’s new lawyer, Harlan Protass, seemed cooperative. He agreed in November to schedule a deposition and provide the requested materials. But he made a request for a confidentiality agreement.

Hiding Crucial Evidence

However, as time passed, Bannon’s camp remained silent. Then, in January, Bannon had a sudden change of heart, claiming he couldn’t comply with the requests.

Source: X/MAGAWarrior_45

He argued that doing so might expose evidence of fraud. That would ruin his efforts to appeal his federal conviction or bolster the Manhattan DA’s case against him.

Stalling On Purpose

On Feb. 6, Costello’s law firm told the judge that Protass has been toying with them and engaging in “a feeble attempt at stalling.” Joseph N. Polito, a big shot at Costello’s firm, said Protass’s excuse was totally illogical.

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Polito then asked the judge to slap the right-wing influencer and his lawyer with a $10,000 fine each for dragging their feet on purpose. The fee is the highest allowable fine “for engaging in intentionally dilatory litigation tactics.”

A Call For Justice

Polito explained in a statement that Bannon’s sneaky behavior has left them with no choice but to seek penalties. Without it, Bannon will be free to keep playing his games, making it even harder for them to get the money owed.

Source: MSN

He took it a step further and asked the judge to also tack on the cost incurred “for having to address Bannon’s frivolity.” The statement was an eloquent insult used with reference to the hours he’s wasted chasing down the conservative media figure.

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Mary Scrantin

Written by Mary Scrantin

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