Steve Bannon, ex-Trump advisor, to face fraud charges in New York

The former White House advisor was accused of fraud and embezzling a part of $25 million of donor funds set aside to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico

September 08, 2022 05:29 pm | Updated 05:29 pm IST - New York

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon.

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon. | Photo Credit: AP

Donald Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon is due to appear in court on September 8 to be charged with fraud in a case of alleged misappropriation of funds for the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico, U.S. media reported.

Mr. Bannon, 68, a popular ideologue who was closely involved in Donald Trump’s rise to the American presidency, was en route New York on September 7 to surrender to the office of Manhattan’s prosecutor and to face the charges, his lawyer Robert Costello told CNBC television.

The Manhattan prosecutor’s office did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.

Details about the exact nature of the charges were not public, as the indictment is sealed, but the Washington Post, CNBC and CNN reported that they relate to the same case that saw Mr. Bannon indicted in 2020 for financial fraud.

The former White House advisor was arrested in August 2020 in that case, where he was accused alongside three others of fraud and embezzling a part of $25 million of donor funds set aside to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The construction of the wall was a key campaign promise by Mr. Trump in his run to the presidency in 2016.

Mr. Bannon was never tried for those charges, after then president Trump pardoned him in January last year, a day before he left the White House.

In a statement, Mr. Bannon denounced “bogus lawsuits” against him 60 days before the November 8 midterm legislative elections.

He blasted “an armed partisan politicization of the criminal justice system.”

The criminal indictment comes six weeks after Mr. Bannon was convicted in a federal court in Washington of obstructing the investigative powers of Congress.

He had refused to cooperate with the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 assault on Capitol Hill.

Even after leaving the White House in August 2017, Mr. Bannon had remained close to Mr. Trump, speaking with him the day before the Capitol riot.

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