Steve Bannon Placed Under Arrest By Federal Agents In SDNY


Yet another high-profile former associate of Donald Trump has now been hit with federal criminal charges. On Thursday morning, the news dropped that none other than Steve Bannon, who worked on the Trump campaign and then in the White House as an adviser to the president, had been taken into federal custody in New York and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The charges stem from his role as one of the leaders of a We Build The Wall crowdfunding campaign, which, as its name suggests, sought to collect donations that were supposedly going towards constructing a southern border wall. That’s not where the money went — Bannon, for instance, “through a non-profit organization under his control (“Non-Profit-1”), received over $1 million from We Build the Wall, at least some of which [he] used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in [his] personal expenses,” according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).

Although SDNY authorities note that final sentencing decisions, if Bannon is found guilty, will be left up to the judge in the case — U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in the Southern District of New York — prosecutors did note that each one of the charges against Bannon carry a maximum of 20 years in prison. Bannon was charged alongside three other co-conspirators, who seem to have all also been taken into custody by Thursday morning. Each one of the co-conspirators faced the same set of charges. One of the co-conspirators, Brian Kolfage, “covertly took for his personal use more than $350,000 in funds that donors had given to We Build the Wall,” according to the SDNY release.

Trump has previously distanced himself from Bannon, who had a bit of a falling out with Trump World after disparaging comments of his about Donald Trump Jr. were published in a book called Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff. Still, the fact that Bannon once worked closely with the president isn’t exactly erasable.