Ahh, Steve Bannon. Former Breitbart executive chair, ex-Trump aide, SNL grim reaper, and now, the recipient of a highly coveted-presidential pardon? Despite Tuesday's reports alleging that the soon-to-be-ex President would exclude Bannon from the list of the approximately 100 people receiving pardons and commutations on his last day in office, it seems POTUS had a literal 11th-hour change of heart, including his former advisor after all.
"President Trump granted a full pardon to Stephen Bannon. Prosecutors pursued Mr. Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project," wrote White House Press Secretary, BoJack Horseman's Vincent Adultma- sorry, Kayleigh McEnany in a statement. "Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen."
I guess "political acumen" is one way to put it. Anyways, last year, Bannon and two other associates found themselves in hot water after being arrested and charged with defrauding donors out of "hundreds of thousands" of dollars with the "We Build the Wall" fundraising initiative, which they claim was aimed at helping support build a border wall between Mexico and the United States, according to The Department of Justice. His trial date was set for May 2021, which will now potentially be canceled, alongside this Taurus writer's big quarantine birthday plans of reading about Bannon floundering in court alongside a big glass of wine.
The decision to pardon Steve Bannon (or as my autocorrect loves to call his surname, Steve Banana) was apparently not an easy one, filled with "frantic debate" over whether the political strategist deserved this type of presidential legal pass, CNN reported. As you may recall, because it was literally all anyone could talk about for a good chunk of time in the early days of 45's tenure, he and Trump had a highly-publicized falling out a few years back, after the former Boiosphere 2 exec was quoted in a book slamming his kids, calling Donald Trump Jr. "treasonous" for convening with a Russian lawyer and alleging that Ivanka was "dumb as a brick." The president, in turn, issued a statement alleging Bannon had lost his mind, according to the outlet. Remember, kids, don't shit talk your political allies -- but if you're going to, maybe, oh, I don't know, refrain from doing so in a book?
Anyway, the two eventually somewhat reconciled, as Bannon advised Trump on his campaign ahead of last year's presidential election, and then espoused the baseless notion that voter fraud led to 45's loss to Joe Biden. Their brand of dramatic middle-school friendship aside, another hangup about potentially pardoning Bannon came as a resuly of his comments surrounding the Capitol siege earlier this month, CNN noted. "All hell is going to break loose tomorrow," Bannon told the listeners of his podcast the day before the attacks. Yikes. No wonder Trump had hesitations about pardoning him. But hey, at least he didn't blame his alarming remarks on Game of Thrones?
Ugh. Well, it's been a long four years, folks. Here's to a new White House era, this time, hopefully sans political figures best represented by a grim reaper on national television.
Top Image: NBCUniversal