Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was indicted after surrendering to New York state prosecutors Thursday morning. Bannon faces charges for allegedly pocketing some donations in a “Build the Wall” group that raised millions on promises to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The charges are two counts of money laundering in the second degree, one count of conspiracy in the fourth degree, scheme to defraud in the first degree and conspiracy in the fifth degree.
Bannon, entering the courtroom handcuffed, pleaded not guilty on all counts with his attorney speaking on his behalf. As a condition of release, Bannon must surrender his passport. New York Attorney General Letitia James argued that Bannon has means to flee the country and a history of violating the law — a reference to his contempt of Congress conviction. Bannon was found guilty in July of refusing to comply with a subpoena to appear before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. and could face up to two years in prison when he’s sentenced next month. In a statement,Attorney General James said, “There cannot be one set of rules for everyday people and another for the wealthy and powerful — we all must play by the same rules and must obey the law. Mr. Bannon took advantage of his donors’ political views to secure millions of dollars which he then misappropriated. Mr. Bannon lied to his donors to enrich himself and his friends.”
Bannon had faced similar charges in federal court in 2020 but was pardoned by then-President Trump during his final days in office.
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