Steve Bannon, former US President Donald Trump’s onetime top strategist and recipient of a presidential pardon, is expected to surrender to New York authorities on Thursday to face a new charge, a person familiar with the matter said.
Bannon was indicted in federal court in 2020 for defrauding donors to a fund to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, but that charge was dismissed after he was pardoned in the final hours of Trump’s presidency.
The person said that the new indictment is on state criminal charges that may mirror parts of the earlier federal case, although that is unclear because the indictment is still sealed.
A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment.
Bannon himself issued a statement Tuesday night after the Washington Post first reported the new allegation.
“This is nothing more than partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system,” Bannon said in a statement.
He said Manhattan federal prosecutors did the same in August 2020 to try to disqualify him from this year’s election.
“It didn’t work then, it certainly won’t work now,” Bannon said.
Bannon is expected to appear in state court in Manhattan on Thursday and then be released pending trial, the person said.
The president can pardon people for federal crimes, but not for state crimes.
Bannon is not the first Trump ally to be indicted in state court. In 2019, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office attempted to prosecute former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on felony charges, including mortgage fraud, that was similar to the crimes for which Manafort was convicted in federal court.
However, the charges were dismissed after it was determined that they amounted to double jeopardy, or convicting someone twice for the same behavior. Manafort was pardoned by Trump in 2020.
Bannon has pleaded not guilty in the federal case, but the double sentence may not apply because he has never been tried.
Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato, who was indicted along with Bannon in the federal “We Build the Wall” case, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in April.
Bannon runs the popular hard-right podcast “War Room,” where he regularly promotes pro-Trump information and hosts guests who deny that Trump lost the 2020 election.
In July, Bannon was found in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from a select committee investigating last year’s attack on the US Capitol, a verdict the panel called a “victory for the rule of law”.
Bannon was a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 Republican presidential campaign, then served as his chief White House strategist in 2017 before problems arose that were later fixed.
Bannon, 68, championed the right-wing “America First” populism and fierce opposition to immigration that have become hallmarks of Trump’s presidency.