I don’t care what opinions you hold on President Trump, Steven Bannon, “informal” immigration, border walls, presidential pardon power, executive orders, alleged foreign collusion or alleged fraud charges. This should scare the heck out of you.
Feds: Bannon’s pardon blocks prosecution, but not indictment
The indictment lodging fraud charges against ex-President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon should not be dismissed despite his pardon, prosecutors told a judge Thursday, citing ill effects an indictment can leave on someone even without a conviction. […]
Prosecutors said the pardon Trump gave Bannon on his way out of office last month does not eliminate probable cause of guilt or undercut evidence of his involvement in crimes.
And to dismiss it, they argued, “could have a broader effect than the pardon itself, among other things potentially relieving Bannon of certain consequences not covered by the pardon.” […]
Prosecutors cited possible “consequences” of an indictment on the books, including a past instance when a commodity broker’s application was denied and an instance in which a pardon did not preclude the government from considering the charged conduct in evaluating permit applications.
The prosecutors here are arguing that just because a person has been pardoned and therefore cannot be prosecuted for an alleged crime, they should still be punished. The indictment should stand permanently to disbar the accused from exercising many of their rights.
Bear in mind that a person under indictment cannot lawfully obtain a firearm for personal defense.
You don’t like Bannon or Trump? Fine. How do you like your own right to keep and bear arms?
This would be an extraordinarily dangerous precedent to set. In an age where prosecutors can indict a ham sandwich, this would be a handy tool to pry your Second Amendment rights away from you.
Indict, never prosecute, never convict, but leave the indictment in place for the rest of the target’s life. No red flag order, mental incompetence adjudication, or even a trial would ever required. The target would be a perpetual prohibited person simply because an accusation has been made.
A perpetual prohibited person.
In a sane world, District Judge Analisa Torres would hit the prosecutors with contempt charges for this. They would be referred to the Bar for possible discipline, suspension or disbarment. But in the real world. I’d guess there’s an 80% chance the Obama appointee will rule for the prosecutors in this case…and for an individual’s perpetual prohibited status.