Following 45th President Donald Trump’s pardon of Steve Bannon, a federal judge has now officially dismissed the case against him. Bannon pled “not guilty” after being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to engage in money laundering, according to reports.
Fox News reports:
“For the reasons stated above, Bannon’s motion is GRANTED and the Indictment is DISMISSED as to him, pursuant to paragraph one of the Pardon,” Judge Analisa Torres declared in a filing.
“If there be no guilt, there is no ground for forgiveness,” she wrote. “It is an appeal to executive clemency. It is asked as a matter of favor to the guilty. It is granted not of right but of grace. A party is acquitted on the ground of innocence; he is pardoned through favor.”
Bannon and three other defendants were indicted about a year ago as federal prosecutors accused them of defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in a $25 million “We Build the Wall” crowdfunding campaign. The Department of Justice said they were using the false pretense that all the money would be spent on the construction of the border wall between Mexico and the U.S.
The indictment had not been formally dismissed until now and, while Bannon had asked the court to dismiss it, prosecutors had wanted it to be administratively closed. Some legal experts have said that there is a loophole because the pardon only concerns the current indictment, meaning that he could still be prosecuted on other charges.
The government’s case will continue for the other three defendants: Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea. The win for Bannon in court is the latest victory for conservatives targeted by liberals.