Manhattan federal prosecutors and Steve Bannon locked in legal battle over President Trump’s pardon

Manhattan federal prosecutors and Steve Bannon are locked in an unusual legal battle over his pardon from President Donald Trump.

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Trump pardoned Bannon for allegedly swindling donors to a privately funded section of border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border shortly before leaving office. Such pardons typically result in swift dismissal of charges, as occurred in the cases against Michael Flynn, and Jared Kushner pal Kenneth Kurson, among others.

But Manhattan federal prosecutors have asked a judge to only “administratively terminate” the case as to Bannon — a move his defense attorney says leaves open the possibility of future action in the case.

“We seek an order with finality, consistent with the pardon that determines that there will never be a trial or any punishment by this court for Stephen Bannon as a result of the allegations contained in this indictment,” Bannon attorney Bob Costello wrote in a Manhattan Federal Court filing late Thursday.

In a brief interview, Costello said he was not concerned that prosecutors might slap Bannon with a superseding indictment bringing new charges.

John Meringolo, an attorney for Colorado businessman Timothy Shea, who is also charged in the case, said there was no debate about the meaning of a presidential pardon.

“It’s a complete dismissal of the indictment and now we’re just wasting taxpayer’s money,” he said.

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