Former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon to be charged with fraud in New York

Ex-Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon to be charged with fraud in New York

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Former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon is due in New York court on Thursday to be charged with fraud in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds for the construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico, reports American media.

Mr. Bannon, 68, a figure of right-wing populism in the United States, was on his way to New York on Wednesday evening to go to the office of the district attorney for the district of Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, at 9 a.m. Thursday, and be criminally prosecuted there, his lawyer Robert Costello told CNBC television.

The channel thus confirmed initial information revealed on Tuesday evening by the Washington Post, claiming on the basis of sources familiar with the matter that the former eminence grise of President Trump (2016-2021) was going to surrender to local judicial authorities in the State of New York to be charged with financial fraud.

The Manhattan prosecutor's office did not respond to AFP's requests.

No details were given to the American press as to the content of the lawsuits, but the Washington Post, CNBC and CNN say it is the same case that in 2020 earned Mr. Bannon a first indictment for financial fraud by federal justice of the United States.

The former White House adviser had even been arrested in August 2020, accused with three other protagonists of having defrauded and embezzled part of the 25 million dollars in donor funds to build a wall between the United States and the Mexico. A campaign promise from Donald Trump elected in 2016.

But Steve Bannon was never tried in court as he was pardoned by Republican President Trump on January 19, 2021, a day before quitting the White House to leave it to Democrat Joe Biden.

In a press release sent to the media, Mr. Bannon denounced “phony lawsuits against (him) 60 days before the elections” mid-term legislative elections on November 8. He blasted “a weaponized partisan politicization of criminal justice”.

The criminal indictment will come six weeks after Bannon was found guilty in federal court in Washington of obstructing investigative powers of Congress. He had refused to cooperate with the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Even after being dismissed from the White House in August 2017, Steve Bannon had remained close to Donald Trump and had exchanged with him the day before the attack of January 6, 2021.

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