Trump expected to pardon former adviser Bannon: source By Reuters

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© Reuters. Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court in New York City

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By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to grant clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations he will issue during his final hours in office, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Trump was not expected to pardon himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was at the forefront of unsuccessful efforts to get the results of the 2020 presidential election overturned.

Trump leaves office on Wednesday, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the nation’s next president.

Bannon, who was a key adviser in Trump’s 2016 presidential run, was charged last year with swindling Trump supporters over an effort to raise private funds to build the president’s wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He has pleaded not guilty.

White House officials had advised Trump against pardoning Bannon. The two men have lately rekindled their relationship as Trump sought support for his unproven claims of voter fraud, an official familiar with the situation said.

Bannon, 67, is the latest prominent political ally to receive clemency from Trump, who has often used the powers of the executive branch to reward loyalists and punish his enemies.

Trump previously pardoned former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about his conversation with the former Russian ambassador, and he commuted the prison term for Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress during its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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