It was rumored that Steve Bannon might return to the cast of The Apprentice: Presidential Edition in some capacity in the campaign, but it looks like he’s going to have his hands full outwitting the feds, instead. Bannon was arrested in New York Thursday on charges of stealing money from the “We Build The Wall” campaign and putting it in his own pocket. Imagine that? Abusing a charity? Wonder where he got that idea from? Daily Beast:

Three others were indicted along with Bannon: Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea.

“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction,” [Audrey] Strauss [SDNY prosecutor] said.

The campaign, which asked supporters to donate money to build Trump’s much-hyped wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, raised $17 million in its first week. It was shut down soon after by GoFundMe after it became unclear how the money would be used. […]

Bannon, through a non-profit organization under his control, received over $1 million from the fundraiser that he used to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses and secretly pay Kolfage, the indictment alleges. […]

To conceal the payments to Kolfage, Bannon and the two other men allegedly devised a scheme to route payments from “We Build The Wall” through Bannon’s non-profit and a shell company under Shea’s control, prosecutors said. They did so by using fake invoices and sham “vendor” arrangements.

It is glaringly evident that Trump and his cronies are in business to grift the gullible and nothing more. If Americans, or any portion of them, are so naive as to think that Donald Trump cares about anybody but himself, or has any interest beyond his own gratifications, then we are more dumbed down than we know. And unfortunately, that’s the main take away from the entire Trump experience, is how many of the people can be fooled how much of the time.

It will be interesting to see what right-wing media does with this particular piece of news. It’s foreseeable that Trump will distance himself from Bannon, as another “coffee boy” but how he’s going to distance himself from his failed vanity project wall, and all the grift surrounding it, remains to be seen.

And consider this: what are the odds of Paul Manafort, once Trump’s campaign manager, being convicted of fraud, and then Steve Bannon, also once Trump’s campaign manager, not to mention chief strategist, being indicted for the very same thing? Very interesting pattern here. No wonder Barack Obama was imploring Americans to save democracy last night.

This story was breaking at 7:50 a.m. Pacific time. It will be updated as it develops.




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  1. Now we know why barr wanted a stooge installed.. .I could have sworn that Trump tweeted in the last few days that he was going to pardon a big name soon, I can’t remember what he said, exactly.

  2. I doubt this will remain interesting for very long although it will for long enough to step on Trump National Party convention next week. Bannon will be under pressure to flip on Trump of course but if Barr was somehow blindsided by this indictment he’s already at work making sure line prosecutor’s careers will be ruined if they actually squeeze Bannon. There’s the issue of bail since Bannon could in theory be a flight risk, and if he thought he’d be locked up even for a few months he’d skip to a non-extradition country – he’s got the money and connections to do it in a heartbeat and surely plenty of money stashed away. OTOH it’s financial crime, so a judge will probably wind up setting a high bail and having him surrender his passport – and maybe order him up some “ankle jewelry.” Trump will get word to Bannon that one way or the other he’ll be pardoned if not after the TNC, or during the campaign then after Nov. 3. If Trump thinks he’s in enough trouble and can’t sabotage the vote to stay in office then he’ll be at that point where he no longer cares about any uproar and pardons Bannon on the condition ole Steve helps him out like last time around. Sort of a nothing left to lose hail Mary moonshot type of desperation thing.

    Bannon (I think) has more sense than Manafort and will know better than to fuck around with any probation conditions so as long as he remains out of jail he’ll lay low. I do agree with the notion that he’ll be a bit hamstrung in trying to help Trump from a distance as he’s been doing sometimes no matter what Trump claims as happened in the not long ago presser. At least until he’s assured Barr is keeping the prosecutors up there in NYC at bay and that he will get his pardon.

  3. It is like Bareshark says, they would be scary if they weren’t so inept. Yep, Manafort and Bannon both were campaign managers and both were indicted on fraud charges. They didn’t get very far, did they?

  4. “Very fine people on both sides,” huh? What kind of sleeze bag helped his corrupt buddy get into the White House and then uses his buddy’s signature campaign project to steal money from his buddy’s followers? There really is no honor among thieves!


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