Bannon’s Request to Have Charges Dropped Opposed by Prosecutors

Stephen Bannon wants a U.S. judge to dismiss fraud charges against him in a New York criminal indictment, but prosecutors say the pardon he got from President Donald Trump last month doesn’t mean he’s been exonerated.

Trump’s onetime political adviser was charged alongside three others last year with defrauding donors to a foundation that was privately funding construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The case against the other three defendants remains.

Bannon’s pardon was already entered in the court record and he is no longer a defendant in the case. But his lawyer privately emailed U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres last week asking her to dismiss the indictment. In a letter Thursday, prosecutors opposed the move, saying pardons are intended to set aside punishment, not potential culpability.

“The fact that Bannon was pardoned does not extinguish the fact that a grand jury found probable cause to believe that he committed the offenses,” the prosecutors wrote.

Bannon’s lawyer, Robert Costello, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The email seeking the dismissal wasn’t filed publicly. Prosecutors asked the judge to put the email in the court record.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has separately started a probe of Bannon related to the border funding.

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