Steve Bannon is expected to turn himself in to New York authorities on Thursday, September 8th, in regard to charges closely, if not exactly, based on the federal charges for which he was pardoned by President Donald Trump. From the Washington Post:
In that (the federal) indictment, prosecutors alleged that Bannon and several others defrauded contributors to a private, $25 million fundraising effort, called “We Build the Wall,” taking funds that donors were told would support construction of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Should the charges mirror those from Bannon’s federal indictment, the question arises as to whether this would be a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s clause prohibiting being tried twice for the same offense. According to the Washington Times, not so.
A presidential pardon can apply only to federal charges and does not preempt state charges even if it’s the same underlying conduct.
Bannon has let it be known he is less than amused by this latest development.
When reached for comment, Bannon issued a statement through his spokesperson that described the indictment as “phony charges” and “nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.”
There is nothing new in New York attempting to prosecute either Trump associates or Trump himself. In June, Trump scored a major legal victory over New York Attorney General Letitia James’ attempt to find something against the President based on his financial dealings. As fellow RedState writer Bonchie commented at the time:
Conversely, there’s just nothing really here to find, and that’s the problem with witch-hunts. They begin with a conclusion and then bad-faith actors have to try to backfill the evidence to fit that conclusion. There was never any basis for James to investigate Trump’s business dealings. Rather, the entire thing was her simply continuing the partisan pursuit she started while she was campaigning to become attorney general. She promised to take down Trump, and this is her way of trying to deliver, facts need not apply.
RedState will keep an eye on these latest charges against Bannon.