Kobach says We Build the Wall shutting down, as Bannon expected to face new fraud charges

John Hannah

Associated Press file photo

Former Kansas Secretary of State Chris Kobach said Thursday that We Build the Wall, the scandal-hit nonprofit that raised money to build a privately funded border wall, is in the process of closing because Trump’s former Advisor Steve Bannon is expected to face new charges. That he duped the contributors in this effort.

Kobach, the Republican nominee for Kansas attorney general, remains on the board of directors of We Build the Wall. He called his continued relationship essential to shutting down an organization that had once claimed millions in contributions.

“Now you have to systematically shut down the corporation and get some lawyers involved to really make it happen,” Kobach told reporters Thursday night after an event at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce in Olathe.

Kobach’s remarks come after The Washington Post and other news outlets reported that Bannon is expected to surrender to New York prosecutors on Thursday to face an indictment that has been sealed. .

In 2020, Bannon pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he defrauded donors to We Build the Wall. Former President Donald Trump pardoned Bannon in his final hours in office in January 2021. A presidential pardon does not protect against state-level criminal charges.

In July, Bannon was found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of contempt of Congress. Those charges pertained to his failure to comply with a subpoena issued by the US House Committee probing the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Kobach, who served as the group’s general counsel, said that the alleged criminal conduct “supposedly focused on agreements made when the talk first began. I came after that. They let me figure it out.” How do you legally build a wall on private land?

Kobach said Thursday that he is not in any legal danger and has not been charged with wrongdoing.

When asked about his current relationship with Bannon, Kobach stated that he has appeared on Bannon’s show several times.

“We have known each other very well in the past,” Kobach said, adding that he first met Bannon when Kobach interviewed Trump to head the US Department of Homeland Security.

Federal court filings following the allegations show that the organization owed Kobach at least $75,000. Last year Kobach was fighting unsuccessfully in court to gain access to the group’s funds, which were frozen when federal charges were filed.

Kelly Key, a spokeswoman for Democratic Attorney General candidate Chris Mann, said that as legal counsel, Kobach bears some responsibility for any illegal activity at the organization.

“It’s been a long time that they shut down the organization,” Key said. “I don’t think the Kansas can forget how Kobach scammed them.”

This story was originally published September 7, 2022 9:38 PM.

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Jonathan Shoreman is the Kansas City Star’s leading political reporter, covering the politics and government of Kansas and Missouri. He previously covered Kansas Statehouse for The Star and Wichita Eagle. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Kansas.

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