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Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon claimed in a statement late Tuesday night that the indictment he is facing in New York is a politically-motivated attempt to kneecap him ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Bannon is expected to turn himself in this week after The Washington Post reported that he is being indicted on state-level charges related to the federal charges he faced from a fraud scheme.
“Just days after being swatted three different times by deranged thugs from New York City inspired by the Biden Administration to assassinate me by police, the Soros-backed DA has now decided to pursue phony charges against me 60 days before the midterm election because [his show] is the major source of the MAGA grassroots movement,” Bannon claimed. “The SDNY did the exact same thing in August 2020 to try to take me out of the election. It didn’t work then, it certainly won’t work now. This is nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.”
“They are coming after all of us, not only President Trump and myself,” he concluded. “I am never going to stop fighting. In fact, I have not yet begun to fight. They will have to kill me first.”
Bannon received a pardon from former President Donald Trump in the federal case during the final days of the administration before the trial had a chance to conclude.
Bannon was charged in August 2020 for allegedly defrauding people who donated money to a crowdfunding campaign to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He was accused of stealing $1 million from more than $25 million raised to pay an alleged co-conspirator and hundreds of thousands in personal expenses.
The other two men charged in the scheme, Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, pled guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, the Department of Justice said in a statement. Kolfage also pled guilty to tax and wire fraud charges filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.
The Washington Post reported that the state case would be handled by Manhattan Democrat District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The state’s investigation into Bannon started under Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
The report said that Bannon was expected to turn himself in on Thursday.
The new indictment that Bannon faces comes after he was found guilty of one contempt count involving his refusal to appear for a deposition and another involving his refusal to produce documents to the January 6th House Select Committee. He is set to be sentenced in that case on Oct. 21, 2022. Each count carries a maximum of 30 days in jail and fines ranging from $100 to $100,000.
“The subpoena to Stephen Bannon was not an invitation that could be rejected or ignored,” said Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. “Mr. Bannon had an obligation to appear before the House Select Committee to give testimony and provide documents. His refusal to do so was deliberate and now a jury has found that he must pay the consequences.”