Steve Bannon Getting Indicted In New York For Border Wall Fraud, Claims Dems Out To Assassinate Him
Good Morning, Steve Bannon! The putrefying podcaster is back in trouble this week, as the Washington Post reports that he's been indicted in New York on charges that he defrauded investors in a scheme to raise money for a homebrew border wall. And if that sounds familiar, it's because it's the same grifty shit he got arrested for in 2020, only to have Trump pardon him for it in the last five minutes before he got tossed out of office.
Brian Kolfage, a veteran and multiple amputee, came up with the plan to crowfund a border wall, hoovering up cash from the MAGA rubes, and partnered in it with Bannon and venture capitalist Andrew Badolato to make it happen. Naturally, they named their company "White Knights & Vultures LLC." Yes, for real.
Here's how Your Wonkette described it at the time.
Despite Kolfage's assurances that "100% means 100% right? Board won't see any of that money!" the charity's board, headed by Bannon, immediately agreed to give Kolfage $100,000 upfront and then a further $20,000 monthly, routing the transactions through sham vendor companies.
When Kolfage noted that they were going to have to disclose the first $100,000 outlay to one of the shell companies on the charity's tax forms, Badolato texted "Better you than me lol." Which seems like acknowledgement that they were breaking the law, lol. But then Kolfage had the bright idea of paying the money to his wife for "media," so as not to arouse suspicion. So Kolfage started raking in the cash through a series of payments to vendors for "social media" work which was never performed. All told, Bannon channeled upwards of $1 million through a side non-profit, out of which he paid Kolfage $350,000 and used most of the rest for "personal expenses."
Unlike Bannon, who was accused of grifting $1 million in the scheme, Kolfage and Badolato received no pardon. They pled guilty in April and will be sentenced later this month.
\u201cDonald Trump Jr. praised We Build The Wall and Brian Kolfage at a 2018 event: "This is private enterprise at its finest. Doing it better, faster, cheaper than anything else. What you guys are doing is amazing.\u201d\u201d— andrew kaczynski (@andrew kaczynski) 1597937701
In February of 2021, CNN reported that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, as well as the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, were investigating the wall grift. And now the Post says Bannon will surrender to state prosecutors tomorrow and face charges brought by Vance's successor, Alvin Bragg.
For those of you wondering, there's no double jeopardy issue here. First of all, Bannon was pardoned before he could be convicted, so jeopardy doesn't attach — and then of course, a president can't pardon for state crimes anyway. And anyway, New York changed its law after Paul Manafort's state case on similar charges to his federal one got tossed on double jeopardy grounds. So, don't you worry your pretty little head about it!
Instead, please to enjoy this hilarious statement put out by the man himself.
\u201cFull statement from Steve Bannon on WaPo report Bannon will surrender to NY prosecutors:\u201d— Kristen Welker (@Kristen Welker) 1662519330
Thugs! Soros! Scary immigrants! This screech has everything. But mostly it's just hilarious in its self-importance and over-the-top braggadocio. From his claim that he's been targeted for "assassination" because his podcast is "the major source of the MAGA grassroots movement" to his insistence that Democrats are quaking in their boots at his devastating power before the midterms, it's just a perfect piece of performance art.
"I have not yet begun to fight. They will have to kill me first," says our Braveheart, just hours before he will dutifully turn himself in to prosecutors, and just six weeks after a jury found him guilty of contempt of Congress.
In summary, and in conclusion, Season 6 is full of unexpected twists and turns. But Steve Bannon and Rikers is the couple we can all root for. It's a match made in heaven, and we just know that these two crazy kids are going to make it in the end.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.