Steve Bannon, a former adviser to former US President Donald Trump, will go on trial on May 27, 2024 on criminal charges for lobbying for funding for the border wall with Mexico, a New York judge said at a court hearing on Thursday. .
New York state prosecutors in Manhattan indict Bannon of defrauding donors who contributed more than $15 million to the “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign. According to the indictment, Bannon concealed his involvement in the siphoning of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the campaign’s executive director.
Bannon, 69, has pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering, conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud. Judge Juan Merchan at the brief hearing gave Bannon’s lawyers until Oct. 6 to file a possible motion to dismiss the charges. Merchan said he would rule on any such motion at a hearing on April 29.
Bannon was initially indicted for fundraising by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but received a presidential pardon from Trump during the final hours of his term. That pardon covered federal but not state charges.
Brian Kolfage, a decorated US Air Force veteran who spearheaded the funding initiative, was sentenced last month to 4 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges of misappropriating campaign funds. An associate, Andrew Badolato, was sentenced to three years in prison. Another defendant in the case, Timothy Shea, will be sentenced June 13 after his conviction at trial last October.
The construction of a border wall was a key element of Trump’s hardline immigration policies during his presidency, with the support of his Republican colleagues, but opposed by Democrats and immigrant advocacy groups.