Sept. 8 (UPI) — An indictment against former presidential adviser Steve Bannon is scheduled to be unsealed Thursday in New York, according to his defense lawyer, less than two months after he was convicted of contempt of Congress.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been investigating Bannon for possible violations of New York state criminal laws in connection with money raised to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
In August 2020, Bannon was arrested and charged with allegedly defrauding donors of more than $25 million in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign known as “We Build the Wall” in 2018.
Prosecutors accused Bannon of receiving more than $1 million through the campaign, of which he used hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover personal expenses.
Bannon never went to trial in the federal case, after Trump granted him a full presidential pardon before he left office in January 2021. Presidential pardons do not protect people from prosecution on state charges.
The New York indictment is the second criminal action Bannon is facing. In July, he was convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress after he ignored a subpoena to testify and failed to provide documents for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The panel wanted to question Bannon about discussions he had with Trump leading up to the riots.
Bannon’s sentencing is set for Oct. 21. Each count carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Bannon issued a statement through his spokesperson calling the New York indictment “phony.”
“They are coming after all of us,” Bannon said. “I have not yet begun to fight,” he added. “This is nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.”