Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Trump Pardons Steve Bannon, Who Was Charged With Defrauding Trump Supporters

On his last full day in office, Donald Trump gave the perfect "Fuck You!" to his loyal supporters.

One of the 143 pardons issued by Trump on Tuesday night was to former White House strategist Stephen Bannon, who was arrested last August and charged with defrauding the Trump supporters who had donated to a fundraising campaign to build Trump's border wall. Bannon had reportedly pocketed about $1 million.

Trump never hid his deep disgust for the people who supported him. One of Mike Pence's former aides told the press that at a Coronavirus Task Force meeting, Trump said, referring to people at his rallies, the deadly virus was "a good thing" because "I don't have to shake hands with these disgusting people." There was also Howard Stern's famous quote: "The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises most, love him the most."

The New York Times noted Trump's choices
underscored how many of his close associates and supporters throughout his presidency became ensnared in corruption cases and other legal troubles, and highlighted again his willingness to use his power to help them.

His decision to grant clemency to a number of people caught up in high-profile corruption cases also represented a final lashing out by Mr. Trump at a criminal justice system that he had come to view as unfairly hounding him and his allies. It came as the Senate prepared for his second impeachment trial, on a charge of inciting the deadly riot at the Capitol this month . . .

The latest round of pardons and commutations — 143 in total — followed dozens last month, when Mr. Trump pardoned associates like Paul Manafort and Roger J. Stone Jr., and four Blackwater guards convicted in connection with the killing of Iraqi civilians.
Noah Bookbinder, executive director of the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:
Even Nixon didn't pardon his cronies on the way out. Amazingly, in his final 24 hours in office, Donald Trump found one more way to fail to live up to the ethical standard of Richard Nixon.

Speaking of Nixon, the only president to resign, Trump banned any mentio of Nixon's name in his final weeks in office.

And he has made clear to aides in separate conversations that mere mention of President Richard Nixon, the last president to resign, was banned.

He told one adviser during an expletive-laden conversation recently never to bring up the ex-president ever again. 

Trump did not consider resigning, because he couldn't count on Pence pardoning him like Gerald Ford did for Nixon.

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