Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Steve Bannon Surrenders Himself To New York Prosecutors


*Update: According to MSNBC, Bannon has surrendered himself.

The state of New York is expected to charge Steve Bannon today under the state crime mirroring the federal one for which he was convicted, only to be ultimately pardoned by Trump. As one reads through the Washington Post story summarizing the details, it’s worth concentrating on the fact that New York wouldn’t need to spend the time and resources prosecuting this case were it not for the fact that Trump loved to pardon his friends. It is telling that Trump openly and unapologetically used the only true dictatorial power he held to reward those who favored him. Now New York must work to get justice in the matter:

Stephen K. Bannon is expected to surrender to prosecutors Thursday morning to face a state-level criminal indictment, less than two months after being convicted of contempt of Congress and close to two years after former president Donald Trump pardoned him in a federal case involving defrauded contributors to a $25 million fundraising effort.

Details of the state court indictment have not yet been made public, but people familiar with the matter say it is related to fraud allegations that were the subject of Bannon’s pardon.

In that case, he was accused in U.S. District Court in Manhattan of personally pocketing $1 million from “We Build the Wall,” a Trump-aligned cash collection drive that Bannon helped to orchestrate starting in December 2018.

The fact that Bannon and friends could raise money from private citizens who believed they’d be building the wall themselves is simply stunning. How gullible (and hateful) must one be to send money to a cause without thinking, “Didn’t I vote for a guy who was going to do this with the government? Isn’t Mexico supposed to be getting its credit card out? Why am I being asked to pay for this personally?”

But this is less about the MAGAs ever-willingness to be gifted and more about Bannon’s brazenness in committing the fraud. This wasn’t a matter that involved some complex accounting scheme in which money went through three contracting companies, several cement and steel suppliers, and then a Cyprus bank… No. It just came out of the funds as paying Bannon’s personal fees. Again, this was just so blatant. It shows, once again, that the MAGA movement is nothing more than a gigantic money-moving machine, one that is fueled by grievance and hatred, which one can extract and barrel for free.

The case is interesting because Trump has raised millions in his “Stop the Steal” campaign, and it’s been proven that very little to no money actually went to any sort of effort. The two grifts seem to share the same framework. The only real difference might be that Trump has much more experience grifting, and there may be some fine print to the “Stop the Steal” requests that would save Trump from criminal prosecution.

Regardless, Bannon is about to go through some things, and this time he doesn’t have an ally ready to pardon him.

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