Trump pardoned Steve Bannon -- Arizona should prosecute him anyway: columnist

Steve Bannon's pardon by Donald Trump was blasted by an Arizona newspaper columnist -- who is urging local prosecutors to correct the wrong.

"This wasn't about correcting an injustice, which is the reason presidents have pardon power. Like so many of Trump's pardons, this one intended to excuse a friend or ally from responsibility for his actions," Arizona Daily Star's Tim Steller wrote. "Further, it could potentially protect Trump himself. Without pending criminal charges against Bannon, federal prosecutors have no leverage to convince him to supply any incriminating evidence he might have against Trump."

"All in all, it was another abuse of the pardon power, which the founders intended to be corrected through impeachment of the president. Of course it is too late for that," he explained. "But justice for Bannon remains plausible, because the acts he is accused of are also considered state crimes, and state prosecutions aren't covered by the pardon. It only excuses him from prosecution under federal law."

He urged the Arizona Attorney General's Office or the Pima County Attorney's Office to "step in."

"You see, the conspiracy that federal prosecutors alleged has strong links to Arizona. You could almost say it started in Pima County. On Feb. 8, 2019, Bannon, Kolfage and others hosted an event at Quail Creek in Sahuarita that kicked off a new fundraising effort for We Build the Wall. About 300 members and guests of the Quail Creek Republican Club attended, applauding and donating enthusiastically," he explained.

"That night, Bannon told Star reporter Curt Prendergast "100% of this money is going to build the wall and the legal fight" to get the wall built. It was a pledge that the project repeated in online posts and in emailed appeals for donations," Steller continued. "But, if the indictment is correct, Bannon appears to have known that same night in Quail Creek that he and the others planned to siphon off money, through a nonprofit that Bannon controlled, to pay Kolfage and others."

Read his full case for prosecution.