Polo shirt enthusiast Steve Bannon surrendered to New York prosecutors
The former president’s former top adviser is (once again) facing the consequences of his alleged “Build The Wall” grift.
Steve Bannon, the architect of former President Donald Trump’s political reign with a soft spot for white nationalist views, turned himself in to New York City prosecutors on Thursday, where he was hit with charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar scam to fleece credulous xenophobes into believing they were funding the construction of the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Smiling and defiant, Bannon arrived at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, lecturing the assembled crowd of gawkers and hecklers as he walked inside, vowing that he had “not yet begun to fight” and “they’ll have to kill me first.”
Shortly after his arrival, prosecutors announced Bannon would face first- and second-degree money laundering charges, along with conspiracy, for his role in the crowdfunded “We Build The Wall” project, which federal investigators in 2020 accused of being a longstanding fraud and money laundering operation. Bannon himself was accused of siphoning approximately $1 million of the total $25 million raised for the project for his own personal expenses, and he was arrested by federal agents while vacationing on a yacht belonging to a Chinese billionaire. As one of his final acts in office, Trump pardoned Bannon before he could be convicted in that case, prompting the Manhattan DA’s office to look into the state charges that are at issue Thursday.
In a statement earlier this week, Bannon accused prosecutors of playing politics with his pending indictment, claiming the DA’s office “has now decided to pursue phony charges against me 60 days before the midterm election.”
The sense of deja vu surrounding Bannon’s latest legal imbroglio was heightened not only by the repetitious focus on his alleged financial role in the wall-building scheme, but also due to the fact that it’s been just months since he was found guilty in a separate case stemming from his refusal to testify before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. It’s starting to seem as if the only thing Bannon loves more than undermining democracy and wearing multiple polos at once is getting charged with crimes.