Overview:

Steve Bannon was indicted on state charges related to fraud and money laundering. He's the latest in the former President's staff to face legal troubles.

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Steve Bannon, who once served as former President Trump’s counselor and campaign strategist, has been indicted on money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy charges. The charges are related to a purported scheme to raise private funds for the construction of a border wall, one of the former President’s chief campaign promises. 

Bannon had faced federal charges for his involvement in the scheme in 2020, but was pardoned by Trump before he left office. Bannon now faces New York state charges, where Presidential pardons do not apply.

Bannon surrendered to state authorities and is currently expected to plead not guilty in court. Bannon is alleged to have defrauded investors in the effort to construct the border wall, where Bannon and his associates raised over $25 million. 

In public, Bannon claimed that he was acting as a volunteer for the We Build The Wall project, which raised funds through an online fundraising platform. In private, authorities allege that Bannon funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to himself and his business partners. 

Bannon claimed that the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation was politically motivated, and that Democrats hoped it would drum up political support for the midterm elections. “This an irony, on the very day the mayor of this city has a delegation down on the border, they are persecuting people here, that try to stop them at the border,” Bannon said. “This is all about 60 days from the day.”

Bannon has faced a litany of legal troubles over the years, and is another one of Trump’s former aides to face prosecution. Other senior members of Trump’s campaign staff and Presidential administration to face prosecution include Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

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Marcus Johnson

Marcus Johnson is a political commentator and a political science Ph.D. candidate at American University. His primary research focus is the impact of political institutions on the racial wealth gap.