In his final moments as President, Donald Trump has granted Presidential pardon to his former chief strategist Steve Bannon in the prosecution for charges of fraud. Along with Mr. Bannon, about 142 people were granted commutations and pardons in the final hours of Trump’s presidential tenure.
The former White House strategist was accused of defrauding donors for a campaign named WE BUILD THE WALL, which brought immense popularity in the citizens of the USA for Trump. Steve was accused to have used the amount collected for the construction of a wall at the Mexican border for his personal expenditures. Out of the $35 million that was collected for the project, he was accused of spending almost $1 million.
It came as a shock considering that both Trump and Bannon had a terrible fallout in the early days of the Presidency. The controversy began after the launch of Steve’s book Siege: Trump Under Fire in which he made striking remarks against the President’s children. He called Trump’s eldest Ivanka Trump as ‘dumb as a brick’ and his younger Donald Trump Jr. as ‘treasonous’ for his meeting with the Russian Attorney. Following these remarks, the POTUS lashed in his former ally in a lengthy statement in which he stated that Steve had actually lost his mind.
Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary issued a statement on Wednesday morning revealing the whole list of those receiving clemency. White House inner circle claims that because Stephen Bannon helped in fanning the election conspiracy which Trump claimed, he was provided a spot in the clemency list. Also, it is believed that the former chief strategist had a connection with the riot of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol building earlier this month. He, in his podcast named War Room, promised his listeners that ‘All hell will break loose’ a day before the riot happened.
The pardon followed serious debates and tussle between the president and attorneys which questioned Bannon’s inclusion in the list. The pardon has dissolved the case which was being prosecuted by New York attorneys which carried the risk of imprisonment too. A heavy penalty bail of $5 million was provided in August, which came along with the prohibition of travel in any private jet, yacht, or boats without permission from the court.
Bannon, who formerly worked at right-wing incendiary headlines submitting news website named Breitbart, is accredited in establishing a popular opinion of Trump in his presidential campaign about his nationalist ideology and controversial policies.
For his contribution to the campaign, he was anointed as the Chief Strategist to the White House but later left in 2018.
Following the defeat in Presidential elections, President Trump had focused solely on his Presidential Pardoning powers and has been granting clemency to a vast majority. Former campaign manager Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn his first National security advisor were also part of Wednesday’s clemency list.