Steve Bannon, former Trump administration strategist, said that the new New York state charges against him- which are concerning a scheme to raise money in order to build border barriers on private land- are an attempt by someone to silence him before the November midterms.
“They’ve got a populist revolt that’s out of control, and they’re trying to take me out of this election,” “War Room” podcast host Bannon said.
“They were trying to de-platform me and shut me down. It’s not gonna happen.”
Bannon is charged with fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering in connection with a private crowdfunding campaign known as “We Build the Wall,” which sought to build a privately-owned section of the U.S.-Mexico border. He was released on bail pending trial. According to prosecutors, Bannon defrauded contributors of the fundraising drive that raised more than $15 million by diverting more than $100,000 to the campaign’s leader, who had promised not to take a salary.
“It is a crime to profit off the backs of donors by making false pretenses,” Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney and Democrat, said this at a joint press conference with Letitia James, also a Democrat and New York’s Attorney General.
In 2020, Bannon was charged with similar crimes by the Department of Justice (DOJ). However, on Trump’s last night in office, he pardoned Bannon. Unfortunately for him, though, presidential pardons don’t prevent state prosecutions.
Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, two individuals who were indicted by the DoJ, pled guilty. They are both awaiting sentencing for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They each face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. A third defendant, Timothy Shea, ended in a mistrial.
“The latest charges are clearly political targeting,” Bannon declared, noting that none of the other three men were indicted in the New York case.
“I never had an official role with ‘We Build the Wall.’ It’s a separate company,” he said.
Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman and President Trump’s top strategist, called the case a “complete nothing burger” and a “total complete joke.”
“None of our donors ever had a problem with any of this. ‘We Build the Wall’ is a fantastic project; one of the things I’m most honored to be in,” he said.
Approximately 60 days before the November midterm elections, Bannon claims that authorities are targeting him due to the podcast “War Room’s” success.
“They understand that the ‘War Room’ is a very dangerous apparatus because it gives a little guy a voice. It gives a platform to all the grassroots people,” he said.
“They understand that they need to shut that down. They can’t do it. It’s only getting bigger,” he added. The finding comes after noting that the audience increased by 10% or more for all shows on September 9, likely due to his court appearance.
Even though he could go to prison for up to 15 years on the money laundering charge, Bannon remains defiant.
“We’re never going to back down from Soros-backed, left-wing radicals that are in the New York administration,” he said.
Trump Allies Targeted
According to the report, Bannon boasted that “at least 35” “MAGA leaders” and Trump associates had been “raided” by the FBI on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Most of them had lawyers that had been already in touch with DOJ or working with DOJ,” he said. “These people came to their homes and hassled these people in a show of force and trying to intimidate people.”
According to Bannon, the FBI served subpoenas on these individuals and took away their electronic devices in certain instances.
Bannon’s statements back up reports by the Washington Post and New York Times that, on September 7th, a federal grand jury in Washington subpoenaed multiple former campaign and White House staffers for information related to Trump’s fundraising vehicle Save America PAC. We were unable to confirm these claims independently.
Subpoenas have been issued as part of a federal investigation into the events that occurred during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and Trump’s efforts to dispute the election results. This is separate from another DOJ investigation involving potential breaches of record-keeping laws, for which the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in early August in an attempt to find classified records that he allegedly possesses.
The targeting of Trump and his allies is part of an effort to “shut down all opposition political voices,” said Bannon.
“The elites in this country have taken over and have assumed the same techniques of the lawless Chinese Communist Party.”
“They have to be defeated at the ballot box,” he added.
In July, a jury convicted Bannon of contempt of Congress for disregarding a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee. According to the Department of Justice, he faces at least 30 days in jail and a fine for that case.