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Steve Bannon, former chairman of Breitbart News Network LLC and former Trump political strategist. Photo: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Anyone under federal indictment would want a presidential pardon. Facing a criminal trial and even the possibility of going to jail is enough reason to accept one—even if it might be taken as an admission of sorts by the recipient of the pardon that he has, indeed, committed the crime for which he is being pardoned.

Now, of course, anyone with any sophistication in the area will tell you that a president can only pardon a defendant or potential defendant of federal charges. Only a governor, at least in some states, can extend a pardon for state crimes.

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