President Trump has granted pardon to Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, who has been accused of defrauding political donors who supported building a border wall that Mr Trump supported, White House officials said.
The President made the decision after a day of frantic efforts to influence his thinking, including from Mr Bannon, who spoke to him on the phone on Tuesday.
The pardon was described as a preventative step that would effectively wipe away the charges against Mr Bannon if convicted.
Mr Bannon was charged and arrested by the Manhattan federal prosecutor in August for raising money over the money to build the wall that Mr Trump had been looking for.
Mr Bannon’s pardon was particularly noteworthy because he had been charged with a crime but was not yet on trial. The vast majority of pardons and commutations granted by the presidents were intended for those who were convicted and convicted.
The White House had planned to release the mercy list earlier Tuesday, but the debate over Mr Bannon, who publicly encouraged Mr Trump to oppose certification of 2020 election results, was part of the delay, officials said.
Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon spoke on the phone when Mr. Bannon’s allies tried to pressurize to obtain the pardon, and his critics urged the President not to proceed.
Mr Bannon helped lead the President’s campaign to victory in 2016. However, in August 2017, he had an extraordinarily chaotic breakup with Mr Trump that prompted him to leave the White House. But Mr Bannon supported Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 elections and helped heal the gap between them.