As reported by multiple sources, Steve Bannon is scheduled to turn himself in on Thursday to face charges in New York state linked to his fundraising drive for a wall along the southern US border.
State prosecutors have returned an indictment against Bannon for the same actions that led to federal accusations against him in 2020. As he was leaving office, President Donald Trump pardoned Bannon on federal fraud charges connected to the alleged conspiracy. A pardon from the president will not stop a state probe.
Once the pardon was issued, the Manhattan district attorney’s office began looking into Bannon and the “We Build The Wall” crowdfunding campaign.
CNN has reported that numerous persons with ties to Bannon have been indicted by a state grand jury in recent months.
After the indictment was announced on Tuesday night, Bannon released a statement in which he referred to the charges against him as “fake charges” and “nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.”
“A strong advocate for wall construction and border security, he stated in the statement, “They are coming after all of us, not only Present Trump and me. I will continue to struggle until the very end. Truth be told, I haven’t even started fighting yet. Firstly, they’ll have to eliminate me.”
In response to CNN’s request for comment, his attorney said no.
According to previous reports by CNN, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have charged Bannon and three others, charging that the four had misled donors to the border wall campaign, which had garnered over $25 million.
Bannon was accused of using more than $1 million for his own personal expenses and to pay off an alleged co-conspirator. Prosecutors claimed that contributors, some of whom were from New York, were misled into believing that their contributions would be used in full for the building project.
According to prior CNN reports, prosecutors in Manhattan secretly worked on the inquiry for the past year by subpoenaing bank information as they looked into Trump and his real estate companies. The district attorney’s office, however, decided to wait to file charges against Bannon until after the federal government finished prosecuting his three co-defendants.
In April, Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, two of the suspected conspirators in the border wall campaign, each entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to conduct wire fraud. In addition to the tax fraud charges, Kolfage pleaded guilty to two counts of filing a false tax return and one count of wire fraud.
A mistrial was declared in the June trial of Timothy Shea, the fourth individual to be charged in connection with the fundraising campaign, after the jury repeatedly informed the court that it was deadlocked.