Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea allegedly defrauded donors who contributed to We Build the Wall.
The group raised more than $25 million and saw some early success in building a few miles of wall but have been dogged by allegations of fraud.
The real tragedy is if Kolfage had just said I am taking a salary of a few hundred grand most people would not have cared – the guy is a triple amputee after all.
But it seems they didn’t do that and instead created an easily traceable shell company to hide payments.
“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,” acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.
Trump, who a few weeks ago denounced the project after a part of the wall they built had structural problems
From The New York Post:
Bannon was arrested Thursday for allegedly defrauding donors to the private $25 million fundraising drive to build part of the US-Mexico border wall. Bannon personally pocketed $1 million in contributions, prosecutors allege.
“I think it’s a very sad thing for Mr. Bannon. I think it’s surprising,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “I didn’t like that project.
I thought that was a project that was being done for showboating reasons. I don’t know that he was in charge, I didn’t know any of the other people either, but it’s — it’s sad, it’s very sad.”
Trump said Bannon’s partnership with co-defendant Brian Kolfage on the “We Build the Wall” effort “was something I very much thought was inappropriate to be doing.”
… In a statement, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that “President Trump has no involvement in this project and felt it was only being done in order to showboat, and perhaps raise funds.”
McEnany highlighted Trump’s July remark after a section of privately built wall was at risk of falling over.
“I disagreed with doing this very small (tiny) section of wall, in a tricky area, by a private group which raised money by ads,” Trump said last month.
“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.”
NEW: After arrest of former strategist Steve Bannon, Pres. Trump says, "I feel very badly. I haven't been dealing with him for a long period of time." https://t.co/rugQVn8x9X pic.twitter.com/JA2PIiR2aQ
— ABC News (@ABC) August 20, 2020