Former Trump strategist, Steve Bannon, is expected to turn himself into the Manhattan district attorney's office on Thursday in response to a sealed indictment regarding a crowd-funded border wall scheme he led. These charges are expected to be identical to the charges Bannon faced on the federal level but was pardoned for by former President Trump.
Sources close to Bannon told the Washington Post, then reconfirmed to multiple news outlets, that Bannon and the Manhattan DA’s office have been in talks over recent days to negotiate Bannon’s surrender to authorities.
Bannon, for his part, is as defiant as usual, saying in a statement, "They are coming after all of us. I have not yet begun to fight." He called the charges phony, but the charges are assumed to be identical to ones that Bannon faced in federal court before he was pardoned by Trump. Bannon and Trump felt the charges were solid enough to prompt a presidential pardon rather than go to court to clear his name.
The federal case charged Bannon and three other men, Brian Kolfage, a USAF veteran and triple amputee, Andrew Badolato, a venture capitalist, and Timothy Shea, an entrepreneur with fraud. The case said the four men hatched a plot to defraud donors to a crowd-funded effort that allegedly intended to build 100 miles of wall along the US-Mexico border.
Kolfage and Badolato both pled guilty in federal court to wire fraud conspiracy, as they didn’t receive pardons from Trump. Kolfage also pleaded guilty to tax-related charges.
A trial for Mr. Shea ended in a mistrial when one juror spoke in deliberations about a "government witch hunt." The case is expected to be retried.
The group formed a nonprofit, We Build the Wall. The money received, about $25 million, was then funneled through fake 1099s and shell companies to each of the men.
Bannon is expected to turn himself into the Manhattan district attorney on Thursday.
By Don Irvine - Steve Bannon Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53441636
The Kentucky Daily