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Steve Bannon expected to surrender Thursday on New York state charges related to border wall effort


By Kara Scannell, CNN

Steve Bannon is expected to surrender Thursday to face New York state charges related to his fundraising effort to build a wall along the southern US border, people familiar with the matter say.

The state charges, which have been returned in an indictment, are based on the same conduct Bannon was charged with by federal prosecutors in 2020. Then-President Donald Trump pardoned Bannon on the federal fraud charges related to the alleged scheme as he was leaving office. Presidential pardons do not apply to state investigations.

The Washington Post first reported Bannon’s plans to surrender.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office opened an investigation into Bannon and the crowd-fundraising effort called “We Build The Wall” after the pardon.

In recent months, several people close to Bannon were brought before the state grand jury, CNN previously reported.

Bannon issued a statement late Tuesday, in part calling the indictment “phony charges” and “nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.” His lawyer declined to comment to CNN.

As CNN previously reported, federal prosecutors with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York had charged Bannon and three others, alleging they had defrauded donors in the border wall effort, which raised more than $25 million.

Bannon was charged with diverting more than $1 million to pay an alleged co-conspirator and cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses. Prosecutors alleged that the donors, including some in New York, were falsely told that all the money contributed would go toward the construction effort.

Manhattan prosecutors subpoenaed bank records and quietly worked on the investigation over the past year as they investigated Trump and his real estate business, sources familiar with the matter previously told CNN. But the district attorney’s office deferred a charging decision on Bannon until federal prosecutors concluded their case against his three co-defendants, who were not pardoned.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Paula Reid contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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