Ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon charged with financial fraud in New York

Ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon charged with financial fraud in New York

Steve Bannon, former adviser to President Donald Trump, speaks to the media.

Former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon was charged Thursday in New York with financial fraud in a case of money laundering and embezzlement for the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico, in an electric political climate.

Even before arriving in the early morning at the offices of New York State Attorney for the District of Manhattan Alvin Bragg, Mr. Bannon – dressed in black, three-day beard and salt-and-pepper hair – denounced in a press release bogus lawsuits against [him] 60 days before the November 8 midterm legislative elections between the Republican opposition and the Democratic majority.

Welcomed by a forest of cameras in front of the courthouse, Steve Bannon, who then appeared with his hands cuffed behind his back in a court hall, said he was persecuted by the New York justice system, including the first magistrates, the prosecutors Letitia James and Alvin Bragg, are elected from the Democratic Party. The man who was an adviser to former Republican President Donald Trump in 2017 castigated partisan politicization of criminal justice.

It's a crime to make a profit by lying to donors, and in New York you're being held responsible for it, Prosecutor Bragg told a news conference as he unveiled the chiefs of crime. charges, including one of money laundering, against Mr. Bannon and the association We Build the Wall which had raised some 15 million dollars in the United States to finance the construction of a wall at the border with Mexico.

This is the assessed amount of fraud against thousands of donors across the country who believed in false promises, according to a statement from New York prosecutors.

The wall was a campaign promise of Republican Donald Trump elected president in November 2016 and according to Letitia James, Steve Bannon was the architect.

So when Mr. Bannon created a fundraising structure to finance the construction of this wall, millions of dollars were stolen to line her pockets and those of other politically close friends, she accused.

According to CNN, citing attorney Robert Costello, Donald Trump's former power broker is expected to plead not guilty when he appears before a judge on Thursday afternoon.

Figure of right-wing populism in the United States, Steve Bannon, 68, owes his legal troubles to the same case which had earned him in 2020 a first indictment for fraud before the United States federal justice.

The ex-White House adviser was even arrested in August 2020, accused with three other protagonists of having defrauded and embezzled part of the millions of dollars in donor funds to build a wall between the States United States and Mexico.

But Steve Bannon was never tried in court, because he had been pardoned by Donald Trump on January 20, 2021, just before leaving the White House to leave it to Democrat Joe Biden.

The wall was a campaign promise from Republican Donald Trump, who was elected president in November 2016.

This criminal indictment comes six weeks after Mr. Bannon was found guilty in federal court in Washington of obstructing the investigative powers of Congress. He had refused to cooperate with the House Committee of Inquiry into the January 6, 2021 Capitol assault, the unprecedented attack by Donald Trump supporters who contested Joe Biden's victory.

Even after being dismissed from the White House in August 2017, Steve Bannon remained close to Donald Trump and spoke with him the day before the Capitol attack.

The political climate in the United States is increasingly tense, two months before the midterm legislative elections and two years before the November 2024 presidential election in which Donald Trump plans to run again.

But the Republican billionaire is the target of a number of criminal and civil investigations, in particular into his attempts to overturn the results of the November 2020 presidential election and his role in the violent assault by his supporters on January 6, 2021.

At a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump called Joe Biden an enemy. of the state, in response to his Democratic successor who had portrayed him on Thursday as a threat to the Republic, democracy and the soul of the A america.

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