Four men have been arrested on charges of “conspiracy to commit wire fraud” and “conspiracy to commit money laundering” in connection to the “We Build The Wall” private fundraising campaign started in 2018. The campaign, which raised “more than $25 million to build a wall along the US-Mexico border,” was run by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea. Bannon alone is said to have personally received $1 million in funds from the campaign.
“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, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, a Democrat, tweeted, “Rarely, if ever, is an ethical, innocent public official surrounded by criminal associates. @realDonaldTrump? He’s running out of associates.”
“Trump’s monument to hate at the border has always been one big con to fan the flames of bigotry and help his buddies get rich.”Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts State Senator
The Left points out that Bannon is the “sixth close associate of the president to face federal charges since 2017.” An ABC News article also noted that within the last year, Trump tweeted praise for Bannon whom he called one of his “best pupils.”
Here’s hoping that the indictment of Steve Bannon is just the beginning of the rooting out of corruption. Looking forward to when the first domino falls on this side of the Atlantic, as it surely will in time #Hope— Fr Ian Maher 🏴 #3.5% #RejoinEU #BLM (@IanMaher7) August 20, 2020
A former colleague of Bannon’s from the White House national security said the initial campaign was a “noble idea — protecting these communities from human trafficking and drugs,” but added:
“I would like to wait and see what happens. It is the case that we’re presumed innocent until proven guilty. If it is proven true, of course I would be disappointed.”Robert S. Spalding III, retired United States Air Force Brigadier General
President Trump in a press conference stated, “I know nothing about the project, other than…when I read about it, I didn’t like it…this is for government, this isn’t for private people.” He referred to their project as showboating.