NEW YORK — Former top Trump administration strategist Steve Bannon was expected to surrender Thursday on criminal charges brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the Daily News has learned.
The allegations are expected to mirror a federal fraud case that ended when then-President Donald Trump on his last day in office pardoned longtime ally Bannon. The presidential pardon did not spare Bannon from state prosecution.
A source speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the GOP activist will turn himself in.
Bannon, in a statement, denounced the charges as politically motivated and ripped into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
“This is nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system,” Bannon said in a statement. “[Bragg] has now decided to pursue phony charges against me 60 days before the midterm election.”
Bannon, 68, was accused of skimming $1 million from a $25 million fundraising effort dubbed “We Build the Wall,” intended to finance a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Two others pleaded guilty in the federal case, with their sentencings set for this December, while the case against a third defendant ended in a mistrial in June.
The impending surrender was initially reported by the Washington Post. A spokesperson for the DA’s office declined comment on the report.
The Washington Post reported Bannon was under investigation by the DA’s office for his role in the same alleged fraud as the other three men.
But Bannon labeled the charges “phony” and part of an ongoing politically-motivated attack. He was arrested back in 2020 by federal agents who yanked Bannon from a luxury yacht off the Connecticut coast for the alleged money grab.
“It didn’t work then, it certainly won’t work now,” Bannon said, accusing the Democratic prosecutor of singling him out over the popularity of his radio show among Trump supporters.
Less than two months ago, Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress for not cooperating with the special House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. His sentencing in that case is expected next month, with Bannon facing a possible two years in federal prison.
Story by Rocco Parascandola, Molly Crane-Newman and Larry McShane, New York Daily News.