Steve Bannon and three others were arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Steve Bannon, triple amputee veteran Brian Kolfage, Timothy Shea and Andrew Badolato were charged for allegedly defrauding donors who donated to their “We Build the Wall” campaign.
US Attorney Audrey Strauss from the Southern District of New York handed down the charges.
According to the indictment, Bannon and Kolfage raised more than $25 million for their “We Build the Wall” fund under the false promise that 100% of the money would be used on construction of the border wall.
“While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement in response to the Bannon indictment.
“As everyone knows, President Trump has no involvement in this project and felt it was only being done in order to showboat, and perhaps raise funds. President Trump has previously and publicly stated the following”:
“I disagreed with doing this very small (tiny) section of wall, in a tricky area, by a private group which raised money by ads. It was only done to make me look bad, and perhaps it now doesn’t even work. Should have been built like rest of Wall, 500 plus miles.: – President Trump, July 12, 2020.
“President Trump has always felt the Wall must be a government project and that it is far too big and complex to be handled privately. The Trump Administration has already built over 300 miles of border wall, thanks to the great work of our Army Corps of Engineers, and will have almost 500 miles completed by the end of the year. Our southern border is more secure than it has ever been,” McEnany added.
“President Trump has not been involved with Steve Bannon since the campaign and the early part of the Administration, and he does not know the people involved with this project,” she said.
BREAKING: @PressSec Kayleigh McEnany responds to Steve Bannon arrest and indictment pic.twitter.com/G0XLq3KQ2E
— Christian Datoc (@TocRadio) August 20, 2020