Donald Trump Reportedly Considering Pardon For Steve Bannon
Bannon, who ran Trump’s 2016 campaign and briefly served as White House chief strategist, was recently charged with fraud and money laundering.
Bannon and four other individuals created the non-profit group “We Build the Wall” with the stated goal of raising money for a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. According to New York prosecutors, however, Bannon and his allies conspired to defraud donors and pocketed the money.
Initially, Trump distanced himself from his former adviser, describing his actions as “inappropriate.” But, in recent weeks, Trump and Bannon have reconciled and are now speaking regularly, according to individuals briefed on the matter.
The duo purportedly set their differences aside after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. The commander-in-chief reportedly contacted Bannon to ask for advice on how to overturn the results of the presidential race and ensure a second term in office.
Bannon has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is due to stand trial in May this year.
In addition, Trump has reportedly considered issuing pardons to members of his family and to other political allies, including his attorney Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. Neither Giuliani nor any member of the first family have been charged with a crime.
As Politico noted, the president issued a series of pardons in late 2020.
“Trump issued two rounds of pre-Christmas pardons and commutations, including for three former members of Congress, numerous people convicted in Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s 2016 election interference, and four security contractors convicted for massacring Iraqi civilians in 2008.”
Trump has also thought about pardoning himself, per The New York Times. The publication reported earlier this month that the head of state is looking to protect himself from potential legal troubles and asking aides whether pardoning himself would be a good idea.
“[Trump] has long maintained he has the power to pardon himself, and his polling of aides’ views is typically a sign that he is preparing to follow through on his aims,” the publication wrote. “He has also become increasingly convinced that his perceived enemies will use the levers of law enforcement to target him after he leaves office.”
Activists have urged Trump to use his power to help whistleblowers and journalists. Notably, left-wing commentator Jimmy Dore said earlier this week that the president should grant a pardon to imprisoned reporter Julian Assange.