Steve Bannon lawyer says former Trump aide is en route to surrender in New York

Politics

The criminal defense lawyer for Steve Bannon said the former Trump White House senior advisor is traveling Wednesday to New York City to prepare to surrender in the morning to face charges in a new indictment.

The attorney, Robert Costello, said Bannon will turn himself in to authorities at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Asked for details about the criminal charges Bannon is expected to face, Costello told CNBC by email, “The indictment is sealed.”

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which will prosecute the case, has been investigating Bannon for possible violations of New York state criminal laws in connection with more than $25 million in funds raised for an effort to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

Bannon was arrested in August 2020 on federal charges with three other men tied to that effort, which prosecutors said defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors. Federal prosecutors said at the time that Bannon received $1 million in funds from We Build the Wall and that to divert that money used a separate nonprofit he had already created to purportedly promote “economic nationalism and American sovereignty.”

Bannon never went to trial in that federal case because he received a pardon from then-President Donald Trump right before Trump left office in January 2021. Presidential pardons do not protect people from prosecution on state charges.

In a statement Tuesday to NBC News, Bannon said New York “has now decided to pursue phony charges against me 60 days before the midterm election.”

“This is nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system,” he said.

“I am proud to be a leading voice on protecting our borders and building a wall to keep our country safe from drugs and violent criminals,” Bannon said in that statement. “They are coming after all of us, not only President Trump and myself. I am never going to stop fighting. In fact, I have not yet begun to fight. They will have to kill me first.”

The New York case is the second pending criminal action Bannon faces.

In July, he was convicted of two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the select House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by Trump supporters.

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