The exact details of the state case could not be confirmed Tuesday evening. But people familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sealed indictment, suggested that Bannon could prosecute aspects of the federal case in which he was acquitted.
In that indictment, prosecutors allege that Bannon and others defrauded contributors to the private company of $25 million. The fundraising effort, called “We’re Building the Wall,” seeks funds that donors say will support the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office, which handles statewide prosecutions, has been evaluating Bannon’s alleged involvement in the scheme since shortly after Trump pardoned him, The Washington Post reported. Reported in February, 2021.
A presidential pardon applies only to federal charges and cannot bar state prosecutions.
Bannon, A Trump’s former top strategist, who was briefly a White House aide, pleaded not guilty to federal charges in August 2020 after authorities dragged him off a luxury yacht and brought him to court. He was accused of pocketing $1 million in the scheme.
A few months later, in the final hours of his presidency, Trump added Bannon to the 140-person clemency list.
Two others, including disabled veteran Brian Kolfage, He pleaded guilty in federal court Regarding the fundraising plan. A trial involving a third participant, Timothy Shea, ended in a mistrial in June when a jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.
The new state indictment comes less than two months after Bannon, 68, was accused of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with a House committee investigating the January 6 uprising.
The state case will be handled by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) in the New York State Supreme Court. A spokesman for Prague declined to comment when reached Tuesday evening.
But Bannon is expected to recuse himself on Thursday, according to three people familiar with the matter.
When reached for comment, Bannon released a statement through his spokesman that described the indictment as “bogus allegations” and “nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.”
The condition Prague’s predecessor, Cyrus R. Efforts to investigate Bannon in the border wall fraud scheme began under Vance Jr.
In addition to the Bannan investigation, Bragg’s office also received a lengthy investigation into Trump and his business practices. Last month, Alan Weiselberg, Trump’s longtime chief financial officer, pleaded guilty over the tax plan. The Trump Organization is expected to face a tax hearing in October.
Investigators from the New York State Attorney General’s Office have teamed up with district attorneys’ attorneys to assist in both the Trump business practices case and the Bannon case.
Bannon’s conviction in July for contempt of Congress in connection with the January 6 hearing made him Trump’s closest confidant to criminal convictions resulting from the attack on the US capital. The two-witness hearing lasted only a week and confirmed that Bannon had ignored a congressional subpoena to which he was legally obligated to respond.