On Thursday, a judge in New York set a date of May 27, 2024, to begin the trial of Steve Bannon for allegedly defrauding fundraising donors. Bannon pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, money laundering, and scheme to defraud after surrendering himself to New York State authorities in September.
Bannon is accused of defrauding donors who paid to build a wall at the southern border. According to CNN, Bannon allegedly diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars to his associates. Brain Kolfage and Andrew Badolato pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in April of 2022 in connection with the case.
According to the indictment, Bannon raised more than $25 million and promised donors that “100% of the funds raised… will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose.”
In September, Bannon accused DA Bragg of using the charges as a ploy to keep him from being involved in the Midterms. He claimed prosecutors “did the exact same thing in August 2020 to try to take me out of the election.”
“This is nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system,” he said. “They will never shut me up, they'll have to kill me first.”
Bannon was originally brought up on federal charges in August 2020 after allegedly taking more than $1 million from the fund for himself. During his final days in office, former President Donald Trump pardoned the former White House strategist on federal charges, but New York district attorney Alvin Bragg filed state charges last year.
Bragg has also been under scrutiny for weaponizing the legal system against political opponents after his office indicted former President Trump for allegedly making hush money payments, through his lawyer Michael Cohen, to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump said that Bragg was “hand-picked and funded by George Soros.” He added “Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time"
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