NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon was arrested Thursday on charges that he and three others ripped off donors to an online fundraising scheme to build a southern border wall, making him the latest in a long list of Trump associates to be indicted or charged.
The “We Build The Wall” fundraiser was headed by men who pushed their close ties to President Trump, giving their effort a legitimacy that helped them raise more than $25 million. They touted their effort to help the president realize his vision of a “big beautiful” border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially after his effort to redirect millions in government funds, was held up through lawsuits.
But according to the criminal charges unsealed Thursday, very little of the wall was actually constructed. Instead, the money lined the pockets of some of those involved. Bannon, who served in Trump’s 2016 campaign and White House, received over $1 million himself, using some to secretly pay co-defendant, Brian Kolfage, the founder of the project, and to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars of Bannon’s personal expenses.