Trump grants pardons to ex-aide Bannon, 72 others

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned 73 people, including his former aide Steve Bannon, the White House said, just before he was due to leave office.

“President Donald J. Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 individuals,” his administration said in a statement.

Bannon was granted clemency after being charged with defrauding people over funds raised to build the Mexico border wall that was a flagship Trump policy.

The president — who will leave office on Wednesday — made his last-minute decision after speaking to Bannon by phone.

The pardon would effectively wipe away charges against Bannon, if he was convicted, it said.

Trump will fly to Florida on Wednesday morning — skipping Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The latest indications are that Trump will not take the legally dubious step of issuing himself and his children preemptive pardons.

(AFP)

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