With hours left in office, Trump pardons Bannon.

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With hours left in office, Trump pardons Bannon.


President Trump has granted clemency to Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who was charged with defrauding political donors who supported building a border wall that Mr. Trump supported, White House officials said.

The president made the decision after a day of frantic efforts to sway his thinking, including from Mr. Bannon, who spoke to him by phone on Tuesday.

The pardon was described as a pre-emptive move that would effectively wipe away the charges against Mr. Bannon, should he be convicted.

Mr. Bannon was indicted and arrested in August by federal prosecutors in Manhattan on charges related to the money raised to promote the construction of the wall long sought by Mr. Trump.

The pardon of Mr. Bannon was particularly remarkable because he had been charged with a crime but had yet to stand trial. An overwhelming majority of pardons and commutations granted by presidents have been for those who were convicted and sentenced.

The White House had planned to release the list of those granted clemency earlier on Tuesday, but the debate over Mr. Bannon, who publicly encouraged Mr. Trump to fight the certification of the 2020 election results, was part of the delay, officials said.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon spoke by phone as Mr. Bannon’s allies tried to apply pressure to make the pardon happen and his detractors pushed the president not to go ahead with it.

Mr. Bannon helped guide the president’s campaign to victory in 2016. But he had an extraordinarily messy split with Mr. Trump in August 2017, prompting him to leave the White House. But Mr. Bannon was supportive of Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, helping heal the rift between them.



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