Steve Bannon on Sept. 8 surrendered to authorities in New York over fresh charges related to his involvement with a scheme to build border barriers on private land.
Bannon, an ex-adviser to former President Donald Trump, entered the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg around 9:30 a.m.
An indictment filed in New York Supreme Court says Bannon laundered money and committed a conspiracy to defraud donors through “We Build the Wall,” which saw a group raise funds they said would go towards building barriers along the U.S.–Mexico border.
Bannon and others “solicited donations and raised money from donors throughout the United States, including several hundred from New York County, based on the false representation that none of the money donated to WeBuildTheWall, Inc. would be used to pay Unindicted Co-Conspirator 1’s salary,” the document states.
The defendant faces up to 34 years in jail if convicted.
“There cannot be one set of rules for everyday people and another for the wealthy and powerful—we all must play by the same rules and must obey the law,” New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.
“Mr. Bannon took advantage of his donors’ political views to secure millions of dollars which he then misappropriated. Mr. Bannon lied to his donors to enrich himself and his friends. We will continue to take on fraudulent behavior in every corner of society, including white collar criminals, because no one is above the law,” she added.
James had a press conference scheduled for Thursday afternoon with Bragg, another Democrat.
Bannon said in a statement to news outlets that authorities have “decided to pursue phony charges against me 60 days before the midterm election,” calling the charges “nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.”
“I am proud to be a leading voice on protecting our borders and building a wall to keep our country safe from drugs and violent criminals,” he also said. “They are coming after all of us, not only President Trump and myself. I am never going to stop fighting. In fact, I have not yet begun to fight. They will have to kill me first.”
Bannon was hit with federal charges in 2020 over his involvement with “We Build the Wall,” but they were dropped after Trump pardoned him.
Two other men who were charged pleaded guilty. The men, Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, have not yet been sentenced for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They could each land up to 20 years in prison.
The trial of a third man, Timothy Shea, ended in a mistrial.
According to prosecutors, the men conspired to defraud donors to the wall-building scheme, including donors in New York.
Before being pardoned, Bannon pleaded not guilty to the federal indictment, which said he used nearly $1 million in donations for other purposes.
“I’m not going to back down. This is a political hit job,” Bannon said at the time. “The wall has to be built. This political hit job is to try to stop and intimidate people about not just building the wall, but what sovereignty means.”
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