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Donald Trump pardons former strategist Steve Bannon in final hours of presidency

The pardons and commutations for 143 people were announced in the final hours of Trump’s White House term.

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon
Image: PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a late flurry of clemency action benefiting nearly 150 people.

The pardons and commutations for 143 people, including Bannon, were announced after midnight today in the final hours of Trump’s White House term.

A statement from the White House said: “Prosecutors pursued Mr Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project.

“Mr Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.”

Bannon had been charged with duping thousands of investors who believed their money would be used to fulfil Trump’s chief campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border.

Instead, he allegedly diverted over a million dollars, paying a salary to one campaign official and personal expenses for himself.

US media earlier reported that the president made his last-minute decision after speaking to Bannon by phone.

Trump has already pardoned a slew of long-time associates and supporters, including his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law; his long-time friend and adviser Roger Stone; and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Former Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy was similarly pardoned, after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws.

Rapper Lil Wayne, who last month pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and faced 10 years in jail, also made the list.

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President-elect Joe Biden is due to be sworn in as Trump’s successor later today.

Contains reporting from © AFP 2021  

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