The district attorney office in Manhattan had indicated that the criminal investigation into Steve Bannon’s crowdfunding border wall efforts has progressed significantly. Bannon was Donald Trump’s chief strategist. Manhattan attorneys have subpoenaed financial records of Steve Bannon.
Cyrus Vance, Manhattan district attorney, had launched an investigation against Steve Bannon, including former President Donald Trump. In the month of January, Bannon was pardoned by the then President Donald Trump against federal conspiracy crimes. This involves the southern border wall project. The subpoena was sent by the Manhattan prosecutors soon after the incident.
Wells Fargo and GoFundMe had received the grand jury subpoena in the case. Wells Fargo is a financial institution that has worked towards raising funds for the border wall. GoFundMe is another crowdfunding platform that worked for Bannon’s “We Built the Wall” fundraiser.
Bannon Investigation Gains Steam With Subpoena On Financial Records
The State grand jury’s investigations have revived the possibilities that might led Bannon to face state criminal charges. Bannon is an outspoken political strategist. Last month the federal case was shed against him when former President Trump announced pardon.
Not only the criminal investigations are underway, but a civil enquiry is also launched into the “We Built Walls” project of Bannon. The civil enquiry is ordered by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office. The records on the project were subpoenaed by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs in September 2020.
Vance, looking into the potential financial crimes by Trump and the organizations linked to him, has sought Bannon’s record into this matter. Trump’s case includes insurance and tax frauds as well, apart from other criminal investigations related to his finances.
When the Supreme Court denied Trump’s plea on halting his tax records’ subpoena, Trump called the move as a witch hunt and fishing expedition.
Bannon’s attorney, Robert Costello, could not be reached for any comments on the matter.
According to the spokesperson for the fundraising platform GoFundMe, their company neither comments or confirm requests from any law information officials.
On the other hand, the Well Fargo financial institution spokesperson did not comment anything into the investigation and subpoena.
The district attorney’s office also declined to comment.
While a representative of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs told CNN that the office neither confirms nor denies the status or even the existence of such investigations.
The fraud charges that the federal prosecutors once pressed are now looked upon in the district attorney’s allegations that revolves around Bannon’s fundraising activities.
Bannon, along with three other man, was charged with fraud against the donors in a “We Built Walls” fundraiser movement. Around $25 million were raised through these programs. The US attorney’s office in Manhattan and the federal prosecutors charged Bannon and three others in the fraud case.
The prosecutors said that the donors were told that the money raised through the fundraiser programs will be utilized only in the construction of the wall. But instead, around $1 million was paid to a co-conspirator while hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on personal expenditure.
However, Bannon pleaded not guilty at that time. He said that the entire process was just to stop people who were in favour of building a wall.
The criminal charges are still being pursued on the three others involved in the case. It was only Bannon who got pardon this January by Trump.
Vance had brought up the criminal charges against Bannon before the pardon was granted.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s lead campaigner, was charged in 2019 with a 16-count indictment by Vance just after Manafort’s sentencing on federal fraud charges. But he was also pardoned by Trump last year.