The Washington Post reported today that federal prosecutors in New York unsealed criminal charges against Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, and three other men they alleged defrauded donors to a massive crowdfunding campaign that claimed to be raising money for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a news release, prosecutors said Bannon and another organizer, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, lied when they claimed they would not take any compensation as part of the campaign, called “We Build the Wall.” Bannon, prosecutors alleged, received more than $1 million through a nonprofit entity he controlled, sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage while keeping a “substantial portion” for himself.
The campaign, publicly supported by several of the president’s allies, raised more than $25 million through hundreds of thousands of donors, the news release states.
Bannon, along with the three indicted co-conspirators, was arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
Bannon, a law enforcement official said, was taken into custody off the coast of Westbrook, Conn., while aboard a 150-foot yacht owned by a friend, Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, who, not surprisingly, is wanted by authorities in Beijing on charges of fraud, blackmail and bribery. He was arrested by federal agents along with officials from the United States Postal Inspection Service, according to a law enforcement official. He will make his initial court appearance in New York later Thursday…
He was arrested by whom? Officials from the Postal Inspection Service? The the law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service? Really? The same USPS that is under attack by Trump and his minions?
I’m sure if Trump had any idea what the word “irony” meant, even he would consider this “ironic.” But, of course he doesn’t and so he won’t. And while publicly Trump is distancing himself from Bannon, he’s also probably reaming Postmaster General Louis DeJoy a new one for not defunding the Postal Inspection Service and letting this happen.
While Bannon’s arrest is the news, as we approach the election it brings into focus what voters need to consider before casting their vote: Trump’s competence to continue in office. Remember this is the man, Donald Trump, who claimed that he “only hires the best people.”
Not even taking into account all the hires he subsequently fired based on his assessment that they were incompetent (in Trump’s case, incompetent is defined by people who are insufficiently loyal), here are seven of his “best people” who have been either convicted or, or indicted for, felonies
Best people indeed!
Take that to the voting booth or the mailbox (if you can find one) in November.