Steve Bannon, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, said Tuesday he will soon be indicted in a state criminal case in New York City.
Bannon, 68, is scheduled to appear on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter. The person claimed anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.
The Washington Post, citing an unnamed source, said the state’s criminal proceedings led to a previous federal lawsuit in which Bannon was accused of defrauding donors who funded a wall on the southern U.S. border. He reported it resembled an attempted prosecution.
That federal lawsuit ended abruptly before trial when Trump pardoned Bannon.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment late Tuesday.
In a statement, Bannon said that district attorney Alvin Bragg “decided to file false charges against me 60 days before the midterm elections,” and that he and his radio show were Trump’s Republican Party. Democratic prosecutors accused him of targeting him because of his popularity among his supporters.
“SDNY did the exact same thing in August 2020 and tried to get me out of the election,” Bannon said, referring to his arrest months before Trump’s re-election loss.
Federal agents dragged Bannon off a luxury yacht off the coast of Connecticut and arrested him on charges that he pocketed more than $1 million in wall donations.
“It didn’t work then and it won’t work now,” said the former White House strategist. “This is nothing less than the partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.”
Bannon, who had pleaded not guilty, was withdrawn from the federal lawsuit when Trump pardoned him on his last day in office in January 2021.
Two other men involved in the “We Build the Wall” project pleaded guilty in April. They were due to go to trial this week but were recently postponed to December. ended with
The president can only pardon federal crimes, not state crimes, but that doesn’t mean prosecutors at the state level have the discretionary power to try similar cases.
In 2019, then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. filed state mortgage fraud charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in what was widely seen as an attempt to sidestep a possible pardon. was raised.
However, a judge found it too similar to the federal lawsuit that led to Manafort’s conviction and dismissed the case on double jeopardy grounds. (Manafort was later pardoned by Trump).
While Manafort’s New York case was pending, New York eased its double-danger protections, allowing state-level prosecutors to indict those who were granted a presidential pardon for similar federal crimes. I made it possible.
Bannon’s case is different because he dropped out of the federal lawsuit early on. In most cases double jeopardy is a factor only if a person is convicted or acquitted.
In another case not covered by Trump’s pardon, Bannon was convicted in July of contempt charges for defying a congressional subpoena from a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October and faces up to two years in federal prison.