Manhattan DA weighs prosecuting Steve Bannon at the state level after Trump pardoned him: WaPo
- The Manhattan DA's Office is weighing a state court case against
Steve Bannon, a new report says.
- Bannon and three others were charged with defrauding donors while fundraising for the
- Presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes, not state or local court cases.
The news comes weeks after former President Donald Trump issued a last-minute pardon for Bannon just hours before President Joe Biden was inaugurated. Federal prosecutors accused Bannon and three others of defrauding donors out of $25 million in fundraising campaign for the US-Mexico border wall via their We Build the Wall nonprofit.
Presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes, not state or local cases. Bannon was among more than 140 individuals who Trump granted clemency or commutations in his final 24 hours in office.
Investigators under District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are in "early-stage discussions" in bringing state charges against Bannon for his involvement in the fundraising fraud, according to The Post report.
The former Trump strategist and three others were charged at the federal level with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering related to the border wall fundraising campaign. He was arrested in August of last year in Westbrook, Connecticut, and pleaded not guilty.
"As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction," acting Manhattan US attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.
"While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle."
Kolfage, along with We Build the Wall cofounders Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea, did not receive a pardon from the former president.
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