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Steve Bannon sued by his own defense lawyers for failing to pay hefty legal bills associated with federal prosecutions

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 08: Former White House senior counselor to President Donald Trump Steve Bannon speaks to members of the media as he leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse after he testified at the Roger Stone trial November 8, 2019 in Washington, DC. Stone has been charged with lying to Congress and witness tampering. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Steve Bannon is seen in a November 2019 file photo. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Donald Trump strategist Steve Bannon owes more than $480,000 to the law firm that represented him over the course of two federal prosecutions, one of which ended with a presidential pardon and the other with a conviction.

The law firm, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, claims that Bannon stiffed his legal team on the bulk of his $855,487.87 legal bill. Bannon paid $375,000 of the tab, leaving $480,487.87 outstanding, according to the firm’s lawsuit.

Bannon remains in legal hot water—and not just for contract disputes. He has a pending criminal case in state court accusing him of defrauding donors of We Build the Wall, a crowdfunding effort to build a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. They are similar allegations that inspired a related federal prosecution, along with three other co-defendants.

Two of Bannon’s co-defendants, Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, pleaded guilty to the allegations. The final co-defendant, Timothy Shea, pressed his luck at trial, securing a mistrial before his first federal jury before getting convicted on the second try. All three of those men are awaiting sentencing. Only Bannon dodged criminal liability in that case on the federal level, through Trump’s pardon. He is also the only erstwhile defendant in that case who worked in Trump’s administration.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) pursued similar charges on the state level, citing the exception under jeopardy law for prosecutions by separate sovereigns.

A trial in that case is currently slated for November 2023.

Over in Washington, D.C., a federal jury convicted Bannon of contempt of Congress, after he defied a subpoena by the Jan. 6th Committee. Davidoff Hutcher & Citron also represented Bannon in his response to that subpoena.

The firm skewered the Trump associate and “War Room” podcaster for refusing to fully pay for two years of services rendered.

“From approximately between November 2020 to November 2022, DHC performed certain legal services for Defendant, at his request, for a fee based upon DHC’s time, and by like request, advanced and laid out various sums of money for Defendant in the amount of $855,487.87,” their lawsuit states.

The firm says they performed their duties in a “professional and competent manner,” regularly issuing invoices which Bannon received.

“Defendant never raised any objection regarding the correctness of the invoices,” the lawsuit says.

The summons and complaint were filed New York County Supreme Court late last week, alleging three counts of breach of contract, account stated and quantum meruit. The firm wants the money they say they’re owed—plus attorneys’ fees.

Bannon’s current criminal defense counsel declined to comment.

Read the complaint here.

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."