Trump ex-adviser Bannon faces state indictment in New York
Former Trump White House Strategist, Steve Bannon, has been indicted in New York and is expected to surrender to state prosecutors on Thursday, according to a new report.
Bannon, a key associate of former President Donald Trump, will likely be indicted on similar charges to the federal case that Trump had pardoned him in, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
In the federal case, prosecutors said Bannon and others defrauded people who donated to a $25 million fundraising effort dubbed “We Build the Wall” by using the money meant to fund the construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico for their own purchases.
The longtime Trump ally was accused of pocketing $1 million from the fundraiser.
He pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in August 2020 but was given a presidential pardon before the case went to trial.
Bannon, 68, was one of more than 100 people Trump had pardoned in his final hours as president, however, the clemency doesn’t extend to state prosecutions.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been investigating Bannon’s role in the same fraud scheme since soon after Trump pardoned him, according to the Washington Post.
Bannon plans to turn himself over on Thursday, sources told the newspaper.
However, he called the charges “phony” and a politically-motivated attack on Tuesday.
“This is nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system,” Bannon said in a statement.
Two other men involved in the fundraising scheme pleaded guilty in the federal case, while a third went to trial and had his case end in a mistrial in June when the jury couldn’t come to a consensus.
Bannon has repeatedly faced criminal court investigations since serving as a White House aide.
Less than two months ago, he was convicted of contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the special House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection — making him the closest Trump ally to be criminally convicted related to the Capitol riot.
“They are coming after all of us, not only President Trump and myself,” Bannon said Tuesday. “I am never going to stop fighting. In fact, I have not yet begun to fight. They will have to kill me first.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.