Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports

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President Trump is reportedly planning on pardoning former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon in an eleventh-hour move just before he leaves office. 

Multiple media outlets, including Bloomberg and CNN, have reported that the president has decided to pardon Bannon despite a falling out earlier in the administration. White House officials who spoke to the news outlets on the condition of anonymity caveated that the decision isn’t final until the paperwork is signed. 

When reached for comment, the White House told The Hill, “We don’t speculate or comment on potential pardons.”

Bannon was charged in August with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors who gave money to help build a private border wall. The “We Build The Wall” effort raised more than $25 million.

Bannon’s pardon is anticipated to be included in a broader clemency list.

The pardon marks a 180-degree turn from earlier in the administration, when Bannon was cast out of Trump’s inner circle for bad-mouthing the president’s children, including saying Donald Trump Jr. was “treasonous” for meeting with a Russian lawyer and saying Ivanka Trump was “dumb as a brick.”

However, Bannon has reportedly been in contact with Trump in the waning days of his administration.

Before his Trumpworld exile, Bannon was mostly known as the mastermind behind the Trump campaign’s populist bent in 2016.

Trump has doled out a number of controversial pardons in the final weeks of his presidency, including to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, GOP operative Roger Stone and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. All three had been wrapped up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Updated at 11:13 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Ivanka Trump Paul Manafort Robert Mueller Roger Stone Steve Bannon
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