DONALD Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon has faced a number of legal woes over the years.
Who is Steve Bannon?
Born November 27, 1953, Bannon is known as an American media executive and political strategist.
Prior to his start in politics, the Norfolk, Virginia native signed up for the Navy after leaving college and spent four years at sea aboard a destroyer.
After leaving the Navy, Bannon attended Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA, before landing a job at Goldman Sachs.
He left the company in 1990 and started up Bannon & Co – a boutique investment bank specializing in media.
His company ended up working on MGM’s studio financing and handling the acquisitions when Polygram Records moved into the film business.
In August 2020, Bannon was arrested for defrauding donors in a border wall scheme, but he was later pardoned by the former president before he left office.
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Why was Steve Bannon indicted?
On November 12, 2021, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury for contempt of Congress.
The following Monday, November 15, Bannon surrendered himself to authorities and was taken into custody.
The decision comes after the House of Representatives voted to hold Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress after he refused to hand over documents in connection to the January 6 Capitol Riots, despite being issued a subpoena.
Bannon claimed “executive privilege” at the time, stating that he was instructed by Trump not to do so.
“The executive privileges belong to President Trump,” Bannon’s lawyers argued to the committee.
“We must accept his direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege.”
At this time, it remains unclear what the outcome of this indictment will be.
On July 18, 2022, jury selection began for Bannon’s contempt of Congress trial.
By July 22, 2022, the former Trump political adviser was found guilty of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, after a federal jury ruled he defied a subpoena related to the attack on the Capitol.
“Bannon’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 21 when he will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 30 days and up to one year behind bars. He could also be fined $100 to $100,000. He is expected to appeal,” according to NBC News.
Why did Donald Trump pardon Steve Bannon?
Bannon served as the White House’s chief strategist during the first seven months of Trump’s term before he was pushed out.
The split with Trump later deepened after Bannon was quoted in a 2018 book, where he made critical remarks about some of Trump’s adult children.
Bannon apologized and soon stepped down as chairman of Breitbart.
Bannon and Trump have reconciled and on the President’s last day in office, he pardoned his former strategist.
The statement from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany read: “President Trump granted a full pardon to Stephen Bannon.
“Prosecutors pursued Mr. Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project.
“Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.”
Trump was eager to pardon his former aide after reconnecting with him as he helped fan his conspiracy theories about the election.
Trump has already pardoned a slew of longtime associates and supporters, including his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law; his longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone; and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
When was Steve Bannon hired by Donald Trump?
Bannon was appointed to become chief executive of Trump’s presidential campaign on August 17, 2016.
The choice was celebrated by former KKK leader David Duke.
Following his election win, Trump hired Bannon to become his chief strategist and senior counsellor in a move that drew heavy criticism.
John Weaver, a Republican political consultant who was John Kasich’s chief strategist, tweeted: “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant America.”
Dan Pfeiffer, the former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, noted: “Nation exhales because white nationalist only gets second most influential job in White House.”
The day after Trump implemented his controversial travel ban which affected seven Muslim-majority countries, Bannon was given a seat on the US’s National Security Council.
Bannon was previously featured on the cover of TIME magazine along with the headline ‘The Great Manipulator’.
The publication also posed the question “is Steven Bannon the second most powerful man in the world?” with many commentators speculating he was the driving force behind some of Trump’s most controversial policy moves.
Bannon was reportedly sacked from the White House by Donald Trump himself in August 2017.
Why did Bannon leave Breitbart News?
In his first interview since leaving the White House, Bannon wasted no time in expressing his loyalty to Trump.
Bannon, who also revealed he returned to lead Breitbart, said he would continue to fight and campaign for the populist agenda which took Trump to power.
He said: “I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. It’s Bannon the Barbarian.”
Following Bannon’s departure, Trump tweeted: “I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton – it was great! Thanks S.”
After returning to Breitbart after leaving the White House he left the company in January 2018 after controversial remarks about Trump’s family were revealed in Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury.
In a story posted on Breitbart’s website, it was announced: “Stephen K Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart News Network, where he served as Executive Chairman since 2012. Bannon and Breitbart will work together on a smooth and orderly transition.”
Bannon said: “I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform.”