The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Bannon Pardon

A few months ago, NR editorialized about Steve Bannon.

Steve Bannon — the former Trump adviser, Breitbart publisher, and champion of “populism” — was indicted for orchestrating a fraud. Citizens gave money that they thought was going to the building of a border wall, but the prosecution says it ended up lining the pockets of Bannon & Co. In a cinematic touch that the sometime movie producer must at some level have appreciated, Bannon was arrested on a billionaire’s yacht. Around the same time, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a report that, in a footnote, recorded that Bannon had put down Donald Trump Jr. to its investigators as “a guy who believes everything on Breitbart is true.” Bannon and his allies have long insisted that elites have nothing but contempt for conservative citizens, and they have done their best to prove it.

That Trump has now pardoned Bannon for defrauding his base over a wall that was never built is as fitting a capstone to his presidency as any.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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