The Manhattan District Attorney's Office is reportedly contemplating bringing a state case against former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, less than two weeks after the former President issued a last-minute pardon to him. According to a Washington Postreport, the move to prosecute Bannon despite securing a pardon from Trump is being weighed by investigators with the DA office's Major Economic Crimes Bureau.
Bannon and three others have been accused by federal prosecutors of defrauding donors out of $25 million in a fundraising campaign for the US-Mexico border wall via their 'We Build the Wall' nonprofit. Given that Presidential pardons apply only to federal crimes and not state or local cases, it is to be seen what happens to Bannon.
What's in Store for Bannon?
Trump's presidential pardon, just hours before Joe Biden's inauguration on, cleared Bannon on federal fraud charges in connection with the border wall. But it won't be that easy for Bannon to move out so freely given that Presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes.
According to Washington Post, people with knowledge of the matter who spoke on conditions of anonymity said that office of District Attorney Cyrus Vance are currently in the early stages of determining whether there is enough evidence to bring a state case against Bannon in connection with the 'We Build the Wall' fundraising campaign fraud.
Investigators under District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are in "early-stage discussions" in bringing state charges against Bannon for his involvement in the fundraising fraud, according to The Post report.
Bannon along with three others were charged by federal prosecutors for falsely claiming to authorities that they would not take any compensation for their involvement in the nonprofit. However, Bannon was the only one to receive a Presidential pardon.
Not an Easy Release
He was arrested in August of last year in Westbrook, Connecticut, but pleaded not guilty to the allegations against him. However, it was not clear if Vance's office is involved in assisting the New York state prosecutor in the preliminary investigation into possible state charges, according to the outlet.
Vance's office so far has been handling Bannon's case in the fundraising campaign. Neither Bannon nor Vance's office did immediately comment on the matter when the outlet reached out to them. Interestingly, Vance's office is also investigating Trump and the Trump organization over their finances, specifically potential charges of tax and insurance fraud, though Vance's office has released little information to the public on the specifics of the probe.