When Steve Bannon Turning himself in to authorities in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday morning after being indicted on charges related to a fundraising scam on the border wall, the former Trump adviser was his usual unapologetic self for his misdeeds as crimes. political attack.
Bannon repeatedly noted that the midterm elections were “six weeks away”, and described the situation as a “paradox” as he entered the courtroom, say: “On the same day that the mayor of this city had a delegation at the border, they are persecuting the people here who are trying to stop the immigrants.”
This is the second time Bannon, who was convicted in July of contempt of Congress, has been accused of stealing money from an online fundraiser for the US-Mexico border wall. He and the fundraising organization are indicted in a six-count indictment of second-degree money laundering, fourth-degree conspiracy, first-degree fraud scheme, and fifth-degree conspiracy. Bannon is expected to stand trial on Thursday afternoon.
Bannon seemed unconcerned as he was taken to Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom at about 2:12 p.m. Although Bannon was restrained and escorted by several court officers, he had a big smile on his face. (Mershan is the same judge overseeing the fraud case of former Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg.)
In the indictment of Bannon on Thursday afternoon, he was asked, “How do you defend the indictment, guilty or not guilty?” Bannon’s attorney, David Schoen, responded that he was “not guilty” of his client.
Bannon was first arrested in connection with the scheme on August 20, 2020 for his alleged role in raising “hundreds of thousands of donors” who threw money into an online crowdfunding campaign known as “We Build the Wall” – which It raised more than $25 million. The state’s charges closely mirror the federal case.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office alleged that Bannon took more than $1 million from We Build the Wall “at least some of which he used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in [his] personal expenses.” Three others – Brian Colvage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea – have also been charged in connection with the scheme.
The feds alleged that Bannon and the three other defendants “arranged a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors.” While the donors were promised that 100 percent of the money raised would go towards building the border wall, they used fake vendor agreements and fake invoices.
But Trump pardoned Bannon in the final hours of his presidency, seemingly ending the far-right’s legal woes. on the other side , Admission of guilt On April 21, 2022, he was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit Internet fraud.
Shea was the only defendant brought to trial for “We’re Building the Wall.” The trial ended in a mistrial on June 7, 2022, after 11 jurors alleged that the 12th member showed “political bias” and allegedly called the proceedings a “government manhunt”. New York times mentioned. Shea’s retrial is expected to begin this fall.
Bannon’s earlier federal case and Trump’s pardon are unlikely to affect the legal viability of the state’s charges. Lawyers explained that because Bannon has not been brought to trial or convicted on federal charges, the dual risk protections do not apply.
“It is a crime to profit by lying to donors, and in New York, you will be held accountable,” Manhattan Attorney General Alvin Bragg said in a statement. “Allegedly, Stephen Bannon acted as the architect of a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud thousands of donors across the country — including hundreds of Manhattan residents.”
Echoing the conspiracy rhetoric of his former boss, Bannon blasted the new We Build The Wall case as “false accusations” and “nothing more than a partisan political weaponry of the criminal justice system” when news of the charges surfaced.And the per CNN.
“I am proud to be a leading voice in protecting our borders and building a wall to keep our country safe from drugs and violent criminals,” Bannon He said. They’re after all of us, not just President Trump and me. I will not stop fighting. In fact, I haven’t even started fighting yet. They will have to kill me first.”
Bannon’s other legal problems relate to the January 6 rebellion. His conviction on contempt of Congress relates to his refusal to comply with the committee’s Jan. 6 subpoena. He faces from 30 days to one year in prison on each count.
The committee wanted to interview Bannon about his contacts with Trump and others in the former president’s circle, in the days leading up to January 6. During Bannon’s radio show on January 5, 2021, he said he believed “all hell will go free” the next day. “I’ll tell you this: It’s not going to happen the way you think it’s going to happen,” Bannon said. “It will be extraordinarily different. All I can say is, hold on.”
As the press waited outside Manhattan Attorney General Alvin Bragg’s office for Bannon to surrender Thursday, the public’s reaction to his case appeared mixed.
Bill Christson, who said he protested outside court proceedings in favor of other Trump friends, stood alongside reporters holding a sign that read “No Shame.”
“He’s a fraud and a traitor,” Christson, 58, said.
A man who watched the bustle from the passenger side of the sedan asked if Michael Jackson would be back. One reporter jokingly replied, “Yes.” “Oh shit!” shouted man.
“what the subject is about?” Another passerby asked.
Steve Bannon, a reporter, responded.
The woman sighed and sighed. “I’d better take a nausea pill,” she said, walking her way.
When Bannon left court later Thursday, he remained adamant that the charges reflected a plot to thwart his work ahead of “the most important midterm election since 1862, since the Civil War.”
“I received news from them: I haven’t started the fight yet,” he said. “We will win a landslide on every level… We won’t hold back, well, we won’t hold back and they won’t be able to silence me.”
He then delivered his own podcast before criticizing how the “administrative state” is the enemy. “Each of you in this audience is nothing but poor, because [of] The Federal Reserve, the oligarchs on Wall Street, the oligarchs in Silicon Valley, in the state of Washington, D.C. “You are all in bondage.”