Bannon Can’t Get Prosecutors To Dismiss His Case Even After Trump Pardon
Steve Bannon probably thought he was totally in the clear of federal fraud charges when twice-impeached one-term former president Donald Trump signed his pardon. U.S. prosecutors say not so fast as they are refusing to dismiss the charges and wipe the indictment from his record.
The former Trump adviser was charged along with three others for siphoning money out of a tax-exempt charity organization that they said was going to help build Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In their original fundraising pitch for the project, Bannon, Brian Kolfage, a disabled Air Force veteran, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea stated that they would not be compensated for their work. Federal prosecutors, however, alleged that the four siphoned approximately $1 million out of the organization.
Kolfage, Badolato and Shea were not pardoned by Trump and are awaiting trial. In a letter to the U.S. district judge overseeing the case prosecutors wrote, “the pardon granted to Bannon is not a basis to dismiss the Indictment against him” and that it does not eliminate the probable cause that led to his indictment, “nor does it undercut the evidence of his involvement therein which the Government expects to elicit as part of its presentation at trial.”
Since Bannon was pardoned he must cooperate with law enforcement and could be forced to testify at the three men’s trials. Shortly after Trump issued the pardon, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office began its own investigation of the alleged, which means Bannon potentially still could face prosecution on state charges for the scheme.