Steve Bannon surrenders to authorities, expected to face NY state charges related to border wall fundraising effort

The former Donald Trump aide is likely to plead not guilty when his lawyer, Robert Costello, told CNN later on Thursday.

The state charges, which are returned in an indictment, are based on the same conduct that Bannon was accused of by federal prosecutors in 2020, alleging that he and three other donors were involved in a border wall attempt. which raised more than $25 million.

However, the presidential pardon does not apply to state investigations.

Bannon appeared to blame his position on political motivations.

“It is ironic, the day the Mayor’s delegation of this city is at the border, they are harassing people here, trying to stop them at the border,” he told reporters outside the DA’s office on Thursday.

“It’s all about 60 days from that day,” he later said, referring to the November election.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office launched a criminal investigation into Bannon’s “We Build the Wall” crowd-fundraising activities early last year after then-President Trump pardoned Bannon on federal fraud charges related to the same alleged scheme. done.
Bannon was charged with federally diverting more than $1 million to pay an alleged co-conspirator and to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses. Prosecutors alleged that donors, including some in New York, were falsely told that all the money contributed would go to the construction effort.

In recent months, several people close to Bannon were brought before the state grand jury.

Manhattan prosecutors confiscated bank records and quietly worked on the investigation over the past year as they probed Trump and his real estate business, sources familiar with the matter previously told CNN. But the district attorney’s office deferred a decision to charge Bannon until federal prosecutors concluded their case against three of her co-defendants, who were not pardoned.

Federal judge rejects Steve Bannon's request for a new trial

Bannon issued a statement late Tuesday, calling the indictment a “fake allegation” and “nothing more than a partisan political weapon of the criminal justice system.”

“I am proud to be a leading voice in building a wall to protect our borders and keep our country safe from drugs and violent criminals,” he said in the statement. And me. I’m never going to stop fighting. In fact, I haven’t even started fighting yet. They have to kill me first.”

In July a federal jury found Bannon guilty of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 US Capitol attack. According to federal law, he is to be sentenced in October and will face a minimum sentence of 30 days in prison.

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