The people at Open Democracy had the story first - yesterday - and now has come the version for the Observer, co-authored by Carole Cadwalladr, telling how the alleged “man who bankrolled Brexit” Arron Banks is now, effectively, out of excuses. The headline, “Emails reveal Arron Banks’ links to Steve Bannon in quest for campaign cash”, tells it all. We are talking potentially illegal acts here. And there is more.
“Arron Banks was keen to involve Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon in a scheme to raise US cash for his Brexit campaign as far back as 2015, emails leaked to the Observer suggest … Banks, as founder of Leave.EU, wanted Bannon’s data firm Cambridge Analytica to devise a plan in late 2015 for raising funds in the US that would support the unofficial Brexit campaign, according to the correspondence”.
Would there be any tangible evidence of this? “An email, dated 24 October 2015, written by Banks and copied to Bannon among others, states that Leave.EU ‘would like CA [Cambridge Analytica] to come up with a strategy for fundraising in the States and engaging companies and special interest groups that might be affected by TTIP’”.
And there is yet more. “Banks states in the email that US citizens with British relatives could be targeted for donations, writing that a potential strategy should look at ‘how we could connect to people with family ties to the UK and raise money and create SM [social media] activity’ … The same email, written nine months before the EU referendum, also reveals that Banks would ‘like to get CA on the team, maybe look at the first cut of the data’, suggesting the firm may have been offered access to information about British voters from Banks’s Brexit campaign, a claim denied by Banks”.
The excuses to be inevitably advanced by Banksy, Wiggy and their pals be delivered with nonchalance, with the resulting fog of misinformation a thing of wonder matched only by the BBC’s ability to wipe Andrew Neil’s backside. But few are going to buy it.
Worse for Banks and his cronies, there is now another publication on his case, that being the New Yorker, which has put the legendary Jane Mayer on the case. Ms Mayer literally wrote the book on Dark Money. The New Yorker Twitter feed has told “The possibility that Brexit and the Trump campaign relied on some of the same advisers to further far-right nationalist campaigns has set off alarm bells on both sides of the Atlantic”.
Meanwhile, on this side of the North Atlantic, Peter Jukes of Byline Media has asserted “Brexit - that great assertion of British National sovereignty - was basically funded by foreigners: US hedge fund billionaires and Russian Oligarchs. That’s now a fact. And the @BBCNews won’t report it and the Government can’t admit it. So the losing control continues”, a worrying claim if true. And it looks like it is.
While Ms Cadwalladr has put the question which Banks now needs to answer: “Today @ObserverUK reveals Arron Banks sought Steve Bannon’s help to raise $$$ from US funders. A highly illegal act if carried out. This was a British election about British sovereignty that legally (& morally) had to be funded with British money...was it?”
Of course, he could wait until it’s Robert Mueller asking the questions. No pressure, then.
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