EXCLUSIVE: ‘They’re Trying to Take Me out of This Election’: Bannon Responds to New Indictment

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Former Trump administration strategist Steve Bannon said fresh New York state charges against him over a scheme to raise money to build border barriers on private land are an attempt to silence him ahead of the November midterms.

“They’ve got a populist revolt that’s out of control, and they’re trying to take me out of this election,” Bannon, host of the “War Room” podcast, told The Epoch Times.

“They were trying to de-platform me and shut me down. It’s not gonna happen.”

Bannon made the comments one day after he appeared in a New York state courtroom in Manhattan on Sept. 8 and pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy relating to a private crowdfunding campaign, known as “We Build the Wall” that sought to create a privately-owned section of the U.S.-Mexico border. He was released without bail.

Prosecutors allege that Bannon defrauded donors of the fundraising drive that raised more than $15 million by diverting more than $100,000 to the campaign’s chief executive, who had pledged not to take a salary.

“It is a crime to profit off the backs of donors by making false pretenses,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said at a Sept. 8 joint press conference with New York Attorney General Letitia James. Both are Democrats.

Bannon was hit with similar charges by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2020, but he was pardoned by President Donald Trump on his last night before leaving office in January 2021. Presidential pardons, however, do not prohibit state prosecutions.

Two other men who were charged by the DOJ pleaded guilty. The men, Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, are awaiting sentencing for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They each face up to 20 years in prison. The trial of a third man, Timothy Shea, ended in a mistrial.

‘Political Targeting’

Bannon said the latest charges were “clearly political targeting,” noting that none of the other three men were indicted in the New York case.

By Cathy He

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