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Thursday 20 August 2020


They never did get Al Capone for racketeering, extortion or murder, but there was always tax fraud to fall back on, when the time came to send him to the slammer. That thought may have occurred to Steve Bannon, who has found himself on a rap sheet issued by the acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Here’s what it says.

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the [SD of NY], and Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the United States Postal Inspection Service ('USPIS'), announced the unsealing of an indictment charging BRIAN KOLFAGE, STEPHEN BANNON, ANDREW BADOLATO, and TIMOTHY SHEA for their roles in defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign known as ‘We Build the Wall’ that raised more than $25 million”.

There is more. “The defendants were arrested this morning … BANNON will be presented today in the Southern District of New York … The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in the Southern District of New York … To conceal the payments to KOLFAGE from We Build the Wall, KOLFAGE, BANNON, BADOLATO, and SHEA devised a scheme to route those payments from We Build the Wall to KOLFAGE indirectly through Non-Profit-1 and a shell company under SHEA’s control, among other avenues”.

This looks bad for Bannon. But it is equally bad for those who were his associates, those who palled up to him. In the UK that means two figures out there on the right, the most obvious being Brexit Party Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, who, as I noted back in 2017, was getting advice from Bannon on his World4Brexit fundraising initiative.

And while Bannon ranted “Fuck you. Don't you fucking say you're calling me out. You fucking liberal elite. Tommy Robinson is the backbone of this country” at Theo Usherwood of LBC, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was giving Bannon a noticeably less hard time than his Good Morning Britain co-host Susanna Reid. Who was also denounced as part of the “liberal elite”, but without the swearing.

But the politician who may now have cause for concern is alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. For him, the charge sheet looks grim, starting with Bannon claiming to have been in contact with Bozo, by phone and also text message, the month before the infamous Telegraph column where he described Muslim woman wearing the burqa as looking like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”.

Then, just after Bozo had his famous domestic with partner Carrie Symonds at her south London flat, the Observer revealed video evidence which showed “Bannon, who helped mastermind Trump’s successful bid for the presidency but was later exiled from the White House, talking about his relationship and contacts with Johnson, and how he helped him craft the first speech after his resignation as foreign secretary”.

So, Piers, Nige and Bozo, how’s that association with Steve Bannon looking, now that he’s been arrested and is all ready to be presented to Judge Analisa Torres? Care to comment on being linked to someone who just got busted for allegations of fraud?

No doubt Bozo won’t even think of resigning. But a few of his supporters might.

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Anonymous said...

Can someone please help identify the British "liberal elite"...."fucking" or otherwise.

Asking for everybody on the electoral register.

Andy McDonald said...

Intelligent people. People who ask questions. People who make fun of Johnson and other populists.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't mark Nigel's neck with a blowtorch. Bojo is just the same. Resign? Not unless Dim Dom says so.

Sam said...

New York State eh?. What a terrible shame for Mr. Bannon that The Don can't issue pardons for state crimes.

Johnspartacusanonymous said...

Hard time in a shared cell with a 25 stone rapist (with any luck)

Simon said...

@ Anon 17:31

Anybody to the left of Britain First, EDL, UKIP etc.

Jonathan said...

Awe what a shame, caught grifting ordinary working people.
Now which other rightwing provactor is using other people's money meant for their legal expenses but rocks up on holiday in Spain?

Anonymous said...

Not discussed much but Bannon was one of the central figures responsible in creating the modern toxic nerd culture.

Years ago he was involved in a World of Warcraft 'gold farming' scheme which basically introduced him to a lot of socially isolated young men. He took advantage of this knowledge by being the chief promoter (via Breitbart) of 'Gamergate'. Gamergate basically led on to the whole shitstorm we have now with 4chan memelords pushing neo-fascist propaganda under the guise of being edgy and has also given us all those 'Oh no women suck!' Youtube channels parasitically slurping on geek-friendly topics - like sci-fi, computer games etc.


Note also that several of the Gamergate figures who portrayed themselves as free speech totally neutral types ended up as pivotal propagandists for Trump - Cernovitch, Candance Owens, Milo and so on.

Course there's also Bannon's new-agey sinister side, which is not dissimilar to the Aum Shinrikyo cult's ideology of the 90s - namely that history is cyclical and humanity is in a dark age, so civilisation should be pushed towards collapse so that a new Golden Age can ensure, run by warrior priests with psychic abilities. Really. This shit is being pushed all over the place in corners of the Internet and of course increasingly the mainstream right appear to be thinking along the same lines with herd immunity, IQ fundamentalism and all these billionaires obsessed suddenly with space travel & living on Mars. It is extremely weird and not dissimilar to how fascism in the 20th Century co-existed with demented occult ideas.


Jonathan said...

If we had only a legal department as willing and able to take on our own high ranking and corporations for criminality.
Shame that since Blair, the Serious Fraud office has been knobbled and defunded.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

What surprised me was the 'serious' US media didn't go studs-first into Bannon.

An exception was the Wall Street Journal.

Bannon was arrested on the yacht of Guo Wengui (a.k.a. 'Miles Kwok' and multiple other aliases).

Earlier this year Guo raised $300 million for his GTV Media Group. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo have frozen those monies. Bank of America has closed one account.

And here's the WSJ's connection:
Soon after the fundraising, some investors began pushing for refunds after they said they never received official documentation verifying their investments in GTV Media, among other issues that led them to distrust Mr. Guo.​

Mr. Guo, a former property tycoon who is now one of China’s most-wanted fugitives, and Mr. Bannon were two of the key people behind GTV Media’s launch this spring, according to a company fundraising document and interviews. The document identifies Mr. Bannon as a company director, while Mr. Guo served as the public face for its fundraising. Associates of Mr. Guo are listed as GTV Media executives, while Mr. Guo is described as a company adviser.​

Messrs. Guo and Bannon joined forces in the past few years as tough critics of China’s Communist Party, and recently have been spending significant time together on Mr. Guo’s yacht, according to videos posted on a website affiliated with Mr. Guo. [...]​

The FBI had been examining Mr. Guo’s work with Mr. Bannon even before the private placement this spring. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported in July that FBI agents had been investigating Mr. Guo and the money he used to fund his media efforts in the U.S. for more than six months and that prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn had been involved in the probe.
[source: Wall Street Journal, 20 August 2020, page A6]​