Several major news outlets are reporting tonight that Donald Trump is planning to pardon his former adviser Steve Bannon for his recent fraud charges. Trump changes his mind every few minutes these days, so maybe it won’t happen. But if it does, fine. So be it. This isn’t going to work out the way either of them is hoping.
At the time Bannon was arrested for the “build the wall” fraud, he was on board a boat with an international crime boss, plotting his next fraudulent scheme. Maybe Trump’s pardon also preemptively includes the crimes that Bannon has committed but hasn’t been charged yet, but preemptive pardons are legally flimsy and may not hold up in court.
In any case, Steve Bannon is a career criminal, so it’s a matter of time before he commits his next instance of fraud – and Trump definitely can’t pardon him for crimes he hasn’t yet committed. On top of that, Bannon could potentially end up facing state charges for the crimes he was just pardoned for. And at whatever point Bannon gets nabbed, he’ll end up having to cut a plea deal against Trump and others in order to get himself a reduced sentence. In the end, Trump and Bannon will both end up in prison.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report