Pardon Of Top Trump Ally Opposed By Federal Prosecutors

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Donald Trump’s rabid supporters don’t seem to mind that he pardoned Steve Bannon despite evidence that he defrauded Trump’s supporters with a campaign called “We Build the Wall.” Donations exceeded $25 million dollars, no additional wall was built with that money (and legally couldn’t have been anyway), and Bannon pocketed more than a million dollars for himself. It’s a move Trump can respect, apparently, even though his supporters’ hard-earned money was fraudulently coaxed from them by criminals.

Trump’s pardon, however, may exempt Bannon from punishment for his crimes, but it does not excuse him from other consequences, such as paying legal fees and submitting further financial documents in the case against his cohorts, none of whom received the same pardon, which could present additional legal charges.

According to the legal documents issued by federal prosecutors, made public by Law & Crime, they argued that:

‘The Government has no objection to the Court entering an order exonerating Bannon’s bail. However, the government respectfully submits that the pardon granted to Bannon is not a basis to dismiss the Indictment against him. A pardon ‘is “an executive action that mitigates or sets aside punishment for a crime.”‘

The “charity’s” founder, Brian Kolfage, along with Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea, who served as “officers” of the We Build the Wall campaign, await prosecution and sentencing. Bannon may have felt like the luckiest guy alive when he received his pardon, but his way out of the mess he created is not yet clear.

‘Accordingly, because Bannon does not set forth any legal authority for the proposition that a court should dismiss an indictment following a pardon, and the only stated basis for his request is to “clarify” his status, the court should deny the request.’

Prosecutors have requested further financial records related to the case, records that belong to Bannon. Additionally, the issuance of permits for further charity organizing, as well as other related consequences, may still be warranted and enforceable.

‘Bannon’s counsel submitted the letter to the Court by email—and therefore effectively under seal—because, in his view, “Bannon should no longer be a defendant in the case. However, until the defendant is administratively terminated, he remains a named defendant and more important, Bannon’s status in the case is not a basis to make his submission under seal.”‘