Former FBI Director James Comey predicted Tuesday that Stephen Bannon faces an uphill battle against federal charges that he engaged in wire fraud and money laundering.
“How serious do you think the charges are against him?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Bannon. “Very serious,” Comey replied. “Both because it includes fraud charges that look on the face of the indictment to be incredibly detailed and strongly supported by text and emails, but also the amount of money stolen — hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars, jacks the punishment up. It is a very difficult road, and if I’m him and his lawyers, I think I’m going down,” Comey said.
President Donald Trump fired Comey as FBI director in 2017. He ran the bureau beginning in 2013, including in the 2016 election as it conducted surveillance on members of Trump’s campaign. Bannon served for 88 days that year as the campaign’s chief executive, and subsequently served for seven months as Trump’s chief White House strategist.
Bannon was charged last week with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection to “We Build the Wall.” Federal prosecutors he Bannon and three other defendants — Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea — successfully solicited $25 million in donations to the group by representing that the money would be used to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In reality, the Justice Department alleged, the group used methods including fake invoices and “sham ‘vendor’ arrangements” to redirect a substantial portion of the money to personal accounts.
Watch above, via CNN.
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Originally published: 2020-08-25 13:39:04