Steve Bannon and three associates just got indicted in SDNY for defrauding investors in their We Build the Wall “charity,” from which they skimmed about a million dollars.
The alleged fraud here is pretty garden variety: raising funds to pay for a wall and instead pocketing a good chunk of the money.
But it’s significant because it comes just months after Billy Barr tried to replace then-US Attorney Geoffrey Berman with a handpicked successor. Berman responded by insisting that all SDNY investigations would continue as they were proceeding, and he refused to resign until he ensured that his Deputy, Audrey Strauss, would take over.
No one knew this indictment was in the works (and the arrest, by postal agents, makes the surprise more delicious). Which means the other times that Barr has hastily replaced a US Attorney with a flunky could represent similar cases into fraud well beyond the Russian-related crimes we know about. (Note, the Timothy Shea indicted along with Bannon is not the Barr flunky named Timothy Shea whom Barr installed in DC.)Indeed, Erik Prince was a key advisor to this organization; there’s good reason to suspect that an investigation into him got killed at the same time Barr intervened in the Flynn and Stone prosecutions.
Michael Cohen warned the entire Republican Party. If they didn’t stop hanging out with Trump, they would go to jail.
He tried to warn them, anyway.