Investigators said that fundraisers for the nonprofit We Build the Wall, including Steve Bannon and founder Brian Kolfage, lied to donors and commenced to pocket funds. Kolfage, Bannon, Timothy Shea, and Andrew Badolato were indicted last year for allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors. Kolfage is a dodgy character, but he somehow still pulled in a massive amount of donations. And now, according to CNN, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has subpoenaed financial records related to Steve Bannon’s crowd-funding “We Build the Wall” effort, signaling that its criminal investigation into Trump’s chief strategist is advancing.
We all know about Bannon’s relationship with the former president, and Kolfage previously boasted of having ties to the White House. I’m starting to see a pattern here.
“Prosecutors sent the subpoenas after Trump pardoned Bannon in late January for federal conspiracy crimes tied to the southern border-wall project, making Bannon among the Trump world figures — including the former president — subjects of criminal investigations by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance,” CNN’s report states.
“The grand jury subpoenas were sent to Wells Fargo, one of the financial institutions that handled some of the accounts used in the fundraising effort, and to GoFundMe, the crowdfunding platform where Bannon’s project, “We Build the Wall,” once operated, the people said,” the outlet reports.
“The state grand jury investigation revives the possibility that Bannon, the conservative and outspoken political strategist, could face state criminal charges after shedding the federal case last month,” the report continues.
It’s not just the criminal investigation; the New Jersey attorney general’s office has launched a civil inquiry into We Build the Wall, too. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs subpoenaed We Build the Wall for documents in September seeking a wide range of records.
“The move by Vance comes as he is investigating Trump and the Trump Organization for potential financial crimes, including insurance fraud and tax fraud, according to people familiar with the matter,” the report adds.”Trump has called the investigation a witch hunt and fishing expedition.”
In August of 2020, less than three months before an election deciding whether Trump would get a second term in office, prosecutors in New York indicted and arrested Bannon. He pleaded not guilty at the time.
You can read the full report here.