Pour out one for old three shirts. Following recent reports from CNN that New York District Attorneys are also investigating Stephen Bannon for his role in a border wall crowdfunding scam, the government has told District Judge Analisa Torres that they are not yet ready to let the defendant go , regardless of his forgiveness by the President.
In a letter to the court yesterday, the acting US attorney for New York’s Southern District argued that Bannon’s eleventh hour’s postponement might remove the sentence, but the charges or evidence against him would not be charmed. Especially since he has not bothered to secure a pardon for his alleged co-conspirators and may be asked to testify against them in the case.
“The fact that Bannon was pardoned does not erase the fact that a grand jury found a likely reason to believe that he committed the crimes set out in the indictment, nor does it undermine evidence of his involvement in them the government as part of it expected from his presentation in court, “writes the government. “If the court dismissed Bannon’s charges, it could have a broader effect than the pardon itself, including to potentially relieve Bannon of certain consequences not covered by the pardon.”
The US attorney is also demanding that Bannon’s attorneys submit the ex parte letter they sent to Judge Torres last week asking that their client be removed from the case.
“Bannon’s attorney e-mailed the letter to the court – and therefore effectively under lock and key – because, in his view, ‘Bannon should no longer be a defendant in this case,'” they wrote. “However, until the defendant is administratively terminated, he remains a named defendant, and more importantly, Bannon’s status in this case is not a basis on which to seal his submission.”
What is the likelihood that all of this would happen if Bill Barr managed to get Jay Clayton into the top job at SDNY on Saturday night? (That’s a joke, the answer is NULL.)
In summary, Steve Bannon faces no threat in federal court, but still has to pay to defend himself there. Cy Vance is leafing through his financial records. and Bannon could escape Otisville only to end up in Rikers.
Well played, good sir!
SDNY letter [via Law & Crime]
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore, where she writes on law and politics.;;