Steve Bannon indicted, will surrender on Thursday


NEW YORK – Stephen K. Bannon is expected to surrender to state prosecutors on Thursday to face a new criminal charge, people familiar with the matter said, weeks after he was found in contempt of Congress and nearly two years after receiving a federal pardon of President Donald Trump in a federal fraud. Case.

Specific details of the status of the case could not be confirmed Tuesday evening. But people familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a sealed indictment, suggested the charge will likely mirror aspects of the federal case in which Bannon was pardoned.

In that indictment, prosecutors alleged that Bannon and several others defrauded contributors of a $25 million private fund. fundraising effort, called “We’re Building the Wall”, taking funds that donors were told would support construction of a barrier along the US-Mexico border.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which handles state-level prosecutions, is assessing Bannon’s alleged involvement in the scheme shortly after Trump pardoned him, The Washington Post reported in February 2021.

Presidential pardons apply only to federal charges and cannot bar state prosecutions.

Trump forgives Steve Bannon after nasty row early in his presidency

banon, a the former Trump strategist who was briefly an aide to the White House, pleaded not guilty to federal charges in August 2020, after authorities removed him from a luxury yacht and put him on trial. He was accused of pocketing $1 million in the scheme.

Months later, in the final hours of his presidency, Trump included Bannon on an extensive clemency list of about 140 people.

Two other men, including disabled veteran Brian Kolfage, pleaded guilty in federal court as part of fundraising. A trial involving a third alleged participant, Timothy Shea, ended in a mistrial in June when the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.

The state’s new indictment comes less than two months after Bannon, 68, was found in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. .

The state’s case will be handled in New York State Supreme Court by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D). A spokesperson for Bragg declined to comment when reached Tuesday evening.

But three people familiar with the matter confirmed that Bannon is expected to surrender on Thursday.

Steve Bannon found guilty in contempt of Congress trial on January 6

When contacted for comment, Bannon issued a statement through his spokesperson describing the indictment as “false accusations” and “nothing more than partisan political weaponization of the system of criminal justice”.

The State Efforts to investigate Bannon in the Border Wall fraud scheme began under Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

In addition to the Bannon investigation, Bragg’s office also inherited a long investigation into Trump and his business practices. Last month, longtime Trump chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty in connection with a tax scheme. The Trump Organization is expected to go on trial in the tax case in October.

Investigators from the New York State Attorney General’s Office teamed up with attorneys for the district attorney to assist in both the Trump business practices case and the Bannon case.

Bannon’s conviction in July for contempt of Congress related to the Jan. 6 investigation made him the closest Trump confidant to be criminally convicted in the fallout from the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The two-witness trial lasted only a week and established that Bannon ignored a congressional subpoena to which he was legally obligated to respond.

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