Steve Bannon to be indicted on new border wall fraud charges – sources | American News

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Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon is set to be indicted on Thursday on state fraud charges related to his role in a fundraising scheme to build a border wall, according to two sources familiar with the matter, years after he received a federal presidential pardon. Case.

The expected decision from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office was quietly communicated to Bannon in recent days, the sources said of the sealed indictment, and said the state’s charges will likely reflect the federal case in which he was pardoned.

Bannon and three others were charged in that case by Manhattan federal prosecutors with falsely claiming they would not receive compensation under the private fundraising effort “We Build the Wall.” to finance part of the construction of the wall at the US-Mexico border.

The architect of Trump’s 2016 campaign and later White House adviser has been accused of personally taking more than $1 million from what people donated to the fundraising campaign that promised to obtain funds to ensure the completion of the border wall.

Bannon – alongside disabled veteran Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea – raised more than $25 million through the online crowdfunding effort, which also promised backers that all proceeds would go to the construction of the wall.

Although Bannon pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in August 2020, two others, Kolfage and Badolato, pleaded guilty to embezzling money from the scheme and defrauding others for their own gain.

Bannon received a last-minute pardon in the final days from the Trump administration which quashed the federal indictment. But presidential pardons do not apply to state-level charges.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office began considering whether to prosecute Bannon almost immediately after he was granted a pardon, a source familiar with the matter said, and several Bannon’s close allies were subpoenaed to testify before a court. grand jury in recent months.

In a statement, Bannon denounced the expected indictment as a partisan lawsuit that aimed to politically hurt Trump by prosecuting a political operative involved in unifying the former president’s base months before the mid-elections. term of 2022.

“The Soros-backed DA has now decided to bring false charges against me 60 days before the midterm elections because WarRoom is the main source of the grassroots Maga movement,” Bannon said, referring to his conservative show. far right War Room.

“The SDNY did the exact same thing in August 2020 to try to get me out of the election. It didn’t work then, it certainly won’t work now. It is nothing more than partisan political militarization of the criminal justice system.

“I’m proud to be a leader in protecting our borders and building a wall to protect our country from drugs and violent criminals,” Bannon said. “They’re going after all of us, not just President Trump and me. I will never stop fighting.

The indictment expected by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, reported earlier by The Washington Post, comes weeks after Bannon was found guilty of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena. to appear from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

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