Former White House chief strategist and Trump ally Steve Bannon turned himself in to New York State prosecutors yesterday and appeared in court to plead not guilty to charges of money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy related to his role in the We Build the Wall fundraiser held in 2020.
The online campaign, which was launched by Bannon and unnamed associates in 2020, collected over $15 million from donors via their We Build the Wall fundraiser which claimed to help fund former president Donald Trump’s border wall project. The organizers claimed they were not taking any salary from the funds raised, but it was later found that Bannon and others were funneling money to themselves, with Bannon himself receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As he was being led into the courthouse in handcuffs, Bannon told a crowd of reporters, “This is what happens in the last days of a dying regime. They will never shut me up, they’ll have to kill me first. I have not yet begun to fight.”
He later said, “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,” referring to Mayor Eric Adams’ delegation, who are traveling to the southern border in response to Texas and Arizona governors Greg Abbott and Doug Ducey busing thousands of migrants to New York City in recent weeks.
In a statement on Thursday, Bannon said, “I am proud to be a leading voice on protecting our borders and building a wall to keep our country safe from drugs and violent criminals,” he said in the statement, adding: “They are coming after all of us, not only President Trump and myself. I am never going to stop fighting. In fact, I have not yet begun to fight. They will have to kill me first.”
Bannon was previously charged in federal court on the same charges, but was pardoned by former president Trump.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC
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