Trump Pardons Former Adviser Steve Bannon Charged With Fraud
Included in 73 pardons and 70 commutations, outgoing president Donald Trump pardoned his former White House aide Steve Bannon who was charged with defrauding thousands of dollars from donors in a fundraising campaign supposed to help build a border wall along the Mexican border.
Bannon was out on bail when Trump issued his official pardon.
Trump and Bannon had grown apart in 2018 after Bannon gave interviews criticizing the Trump family, as well as testimony that indicated Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice. Trump, however, did not pardon the three other men who were charged alongside Bannon for the same crimes.
Experts say Trump’s choice to pardon Bannon may come into play during his upcoming Senate impeachment trial. Days before the January 6 riots in the Capitol building, Bannon said on his podcast the day before the riots that “tomorrow is game day. So many people said, man, if I was in revolution I would be in Washington. Well, this is your time in history.”
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Among Trump’s list of pardons was rapper Lil Wayne, who was about to face sentencing for gun charges. Trump also commutated sentences for another rapper Kodak Black, who was already serving a four year sentence for gun charges.
Trump also pardoned Bob Zangrillo, who is awaiting trial for having paid $250,000 to falsify records leading to his daughter’s acceptance to the University of Southern California. The White House commented specifically on Zangrillo’s pardon saying that his daughter “did not have others take standardized tests for her and she is currently earning a 3.9 GPA.” Critics have been quick to comment that the daughter’s performance is not relevant to Zangrillo’s trial.
Trump gave out 143 pardons and commuted 95 prison sentences during his presidency.
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