Steve Bannon, Citadel Rock man face Might trial in border wall scheme

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NEW YORK — A Might 2021 trial date was set Monday for Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, on prices that he cheated donors to a bunch searching for to fund a southern border wall.
Bannon, 66, of Washington, D.C., was audible however not seen on a video display as he appeared for the primary time earlier than U.S. District Decide Analisa Torres, who set a Might 24 trial date.
The listening to was notable, too, as a prosecutor mentioned one among Bannon’s codefendants had made inflammatory claims on social media asserting the prosecution was politically motivated and an assault on the liberty of donors.
In an indictment together with three others, Bannon was charged two weeks in the past with unlawfully elevating over $25 million for the “We Construct The Wall” marketing campaign.
Prosecutors mentioned 1000’s of buyers have been duped into pondering all of their donations would go towards the undertaking, regardless that Bannon diverted greater than 1,000,000 {dollars}, paying wage to at least one marketing campaign official and private bills for himself.
Bannon pleaded not responsible after his Aug. 20 arrest aboard a luxurious yacht off the coast of Connecticut. He was freed on $5 million bail by a Manhattan Justice of the Peace decide.
As he left the courthouse, he shouted: “This complete fiasco is to cease individuals who wish to construct the wall.”
Additionally showing Monday solely by audio on a video display have been Bannon’s codefendants, together with Brian Kolfage, the undertaking founder and an Air Power veteran who misplaced each legs and a hand in a mortar assault in Iraq.
Additionally charged have been Andrew Badolato, 56, of Sarasota, Fla., and Timothy Shea, 49, of Citadel Rock. Kolfage, Badolato and Shea entered not responsible pleas Monday. They are going to be tried alongside Bannon in Might.
Timothy Shea
Kolfage, 38, of Miramar Seaside, Fla, spent a number of the greater than $350,000 he acquired on house renovations, funds towards a ship, a luxurious SUV, a golf cart, jewellery, beauty surgical procedure, private tax funds and bank card debt, the indictment mentioned.
Assistant U.S. Lawyer Alison Moe complained Monday that Kolfage has made feedback on social media that violated native guidelines governing the conduct of events to authorized circumstances in New York federal court docket and threatened to taint the potential jury pool.
In a letter to the decide, prosecutors cited “a gentle stream” of “extremely inflammatory” public statements Kolfage has made, together with claims that the prosecution was an assault on the liberty of donors for “political causes.”
“I gave three limbs defending this freedom, and I’d proudly give one other to struggle again at this injustice to protect the way forward for this nation,” Kolfage wrote in a single Fb publish.
“The witch hunt is on!” he protested in one other.
Kolfage’s legal professional, Harvey Steinberg of Denver, mentioned prosecutors have been the true violators of native guidelines due to statements regulation enforcement authorities made the day of the arrests. He mentioned prosecutors have been appearing like a schoolyard bully who hits any person after which “runs to the trainer” when struck again.
The decide warned all events to obey native guidelines banning statements that might intrude with a good trial or prejudice the case.
All 4 are free on bail after being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit cash laundering. Every cost carries a possible penalty of as much as 20 years in jail.

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