Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon slammed the “dying regime” as he was paraded past journalists while walking alongside authorities in handcuffs Thursday.
Bannon was indicted Thursday by New York state authorities for allegedly defrauding donors to his non-profit group, “We Build The Wall.” Bannon and We Build The Wall are charged with two counts each of second-degree money laundering and fourth-degree conspiracy, and one count each of first-degree scheme to defraud and fifth-degree conspiracy.
ABC News Investigations reporter Olivia Rubin managed to capture Bannon’s statement to the press as he was led away.
“For every conservative American, this is what happens in the last days of a dying regime,” Bannon told reporters in handcuffs. “They will never shut me up, they’ll have to kill me first. I have not yet begun to fight.”
The Associated Press reported that Bannon and the company have both pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Bannon, Andrew Badolato, Timothy Shea, and Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage were indicted in August 2020 with the same charges for allegedly raising more than $25 million for the We Build The Wall nonprofit, according to a Department of Justice release. Much of the funds were allegedly donated under false pretenses that all of the money went toward the construction of the border wall.
Bannon and Kolfage allegedly hid the misappropriation of funds by creating fake invoices and accounts to “launder donations” and cover up their crimes. They routed donations from another nonprofit, which Bannon ran. The other nonprofit gave him $1 million, and Kolfage $350,000, in personal funds. However, former President Donald Trump pardoned Bannon at the end of his term.
Bannon faced a trial on fraud and money laundering charges in Manhattan federal court in May, and in July, a Washington, D.C., jury convicted Bannon on two charges of contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena from the January 6 Select Committee. He faces between 60 days to two years in jail and a fine between $200 and $200,000.
“First off, if I go to jail, I go to jail,” Bannon said in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson after his indictment. “I will never back off a second. Look, I spent eight years as a naval officer, I’ve committed my life to this program to get this done. I will never back off. I support Trump and the Constitution and I’m not backing off one inch. If I go to jail, so be it. But look, we have a long appeals process.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.