Trump mulls presidential pardon for former aide Steve Bannon in final days in office

Trump mulls presidential pardon for former aide Steve Bannon in final days in office
Donald Trump is reportedly considering a presidential pardon for Steve Bannon, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
2 min read
16 January, 2021
Steve Bannon face 20 years in prison if found guilty [Getty]
In his final days in office, President Donald Trump is considering a pardon for his former chief strategist and top campaign aide, Steve Bannon, according to reports by the US website Politico.

Bannon has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering related to the 'We Build the Wall' fundraising campaign that sought to complete Trump’s vision of a barrier on the US-Mexico border.

A pardon for Bannon would be the latest in a string of reprieves granted by the outgoing president, which has included Republican fixer Roger Stone, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and four Blackwater security contractors who were found guilty of murdering Iraqi civilians. 

In August 2020, Bannon was arrested and charged, along with three others whom federal prosecutors accuse of using donations payments, to fund their personal expenses and payoff personal debts. Bannon is alleged to have received $1 million. 

Without a presidential pardon, Bannon is set to stand trial on 24 May, and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each charge. 

However, Bannon is not alone in being considered for a pardon, with the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, his sons, Eric and Don Jr., and daughter Ivanka, all rumoured to be in line for pardons.

To date, none have been formally accused or charged with a crime. 

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Bannon, a former editor of far-right media outlet Breitbart, played a central role in Trump’s 2016 election campaign, and went on to join the administration. 

During his time in the White House, he promoted the use of executive action and was one of the main architects of the ban on people from Muslim majority countries. 

He left the White House after just eight months, amid accusations that he was a white-supremacist. 

Read more: The Arab American Republicans voting for Trump

Trump claimed Bannon “lost his mind” and was said to have distanced himself from the former strategist, although recent media reports claimed that the two had been recently reconnected.

Bloomberg reported that the president had reached out to Bannon to seek advice on how he could overturn the 2020 electoral result. 

It has been reported that Trump will issue the presidential pardons on Wednesday morning, just hours before he leaves office to make way for Joe Biden's inauguration. 

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