Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court, following his arraignment hearing for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit cash laundering, in New York, August 20, 2020.
The Manhattan District Lawyer’s Office is thinking about whether to prosecute Steve Bannon for state criminal offenses on the heels of the former senior White House consultant getting a pardon in a federal criminal case from then-President Donald Trump.
The query by District Lawyer Cyrus Vance’s office highlights the double-edged sword of presidential pardons, which just apply to federal criminal activities, not to state cases.
Bannon, who at one point ran Trump’s 2016 governmental project, was charged last year with numerous other males in U.S. District Court in Manhattan with defrauding donors who had actually contributed millions of dollars to a private group that ostensibly prepared to utilize the cash to develop a wall on the border with Mexico.
Federal district attorneys alleged that Bannon himself took more than $1 million in funds contributed to the “We Construct the Wall” project.
The former head of the conservative Breitbart News, who rejected the accusations, was one of dozens of people pardoned by Trump on Jan. 18, two days before Trump left office.
None of Bannon’s three co-defendants in the federal criminal case was pardoned by Trump, leaving them to deal with an upcoming trial.
The Washington Post on Tuesday night initially reported that the Manhattan DA office’s Significant Economic Crimes Bureau is examining whether Bannon can be prosecuted for New york city state crimes in connection with We Construct the Wall.
A source familiar with the examination confirmed that report to WNBC on Wednesday.
The source said the DA’s office is assembling documents as part of that probe.
A defense attorney and spokesperson for Bannon did not right away respond to CNBC when inquired about the investigation.
A spokesman for Vance decreased to comment.
Vance’s office presently is looking for to reinstate state fraud and other criminal charges it had actually lodged versus Trump’s other 2016 project chief, Paul Manafort, in 2019.
A judge ruled in late 2019 that Vance’s prosecution of Manafort was barred by double jeopardy, considering that he had actually been founded guilty in federal court of criminal activities associated with the conduct that were the subject of the DA’s case.
Vance’s workplace is attempting to get the ruling reversed.
Manafort also was pardoned by Trump for his federal criminal offenses last month.
The DA’s workplace is currently criminally examining Trump’s business, the Trump Organization, in connection with a number of problems, consisting of how the firm valued a Westchester County residential or commercial property for certain purposes.
Vance’s office likewise is looking into how the company accounted for hush-money payments made shortly prior to the 2016 election to two women who claimed to have actually had sex with Trump. He has rejected their accusations.
Trump has actually asked the U.S. Supreme Court to obstruct a subpoena for his tax return and other monetary documents that a Manhattan grand jury issued to Trump’s long time accounting professionals at the DA’s wish.
The Supreme Court, which previously declined a similar effort to block that subpoena, has yet to say whether it will even think about Trump’s most current request.