Donald Trump has pardoned his former adviser Steve Bannon, who is facing fraud charges, in one of his final acts as President of the United States.
Prosecutors said Bannon and three others defrauded hundreds of donors in connection with Trump’s wall campaign, which raised $25m. It was alledged Bannon then used at least $1m to cover personal expenses, which he denies.
In a statement the White House said: “Prosecutors pursued Mr. Bannon with charges related to fraud stemming from his involvement in a political project. Mr. Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.”
Trump also granted clemency to move than 140 others, among them rapper Lil Wayne.
In his farewell address the outgoing president told the nation: “Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning.”
Democrat rival Joe Biden will be sworn in at the inauguration ceremony today.
The final two weeks of Trump’s presidency have been dominated by the fallout from the riot at Capitol Hill, in which a number of individuals died when supporters stormed the Capitol building.
Trump has since been banned on all social media networks, and was impeached for “incitement of insurrection” over the Capitol attack. He is the first President in history to be impeached twice.