The inevitable news about Steve Bannon

He’s been arrested for fraud. Is anyone surprised?

Federal prosecutors in New York on Thursday unsealed criminal charges against Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, and three other men they alleged defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors using an online crowdfunding campaign that was advertised as raising money to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

In a news release, prosecutors said Bannon and another organizer of the campaign, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, claimed that they would not take any compensation as part of the campaign, called “We Build The Wall,” but that was a lie. Bannon, prosecutors alleged, received more than $1 million through a non-profit he controlled, and Kolfage received more than $350,000.

I think the president and his cronies face the same prospects after the election. The whole kit and kaboodle ought to be arrested now for a lifetime of grift, but somehow, it’s not happening.


  1. unclefrogy says

    when I read the headline I laughed out loud before I got to the end.
    other news judge dismisses trumps lawsuit to prevent access to his tax records
    should be a nice tweet storm coming out of this
    uncle frogy

  2. raven says

    So what?
    This is normal behavior for the GOP.

    As I stated on the last thread an hour ago:
    If you took all the con-people and criminals out of the GOP, the US congress would be less than half its size. The White House would be empty. The GOP convention could be held in a McDonalds.

    Besides, we already know that Trump will just pardon them.

  3. davidc1 says

    I left the following on jr’s facache page ,wonder how long it will stay up.
    “I see your daddy’s former best mate bannon has been arrested for fraud😂😂😂,ripping off those dickheads who gave him money to build a mini wall ,😂😂😂you rightwing nutjobs are the most stupid people that ever drew breath 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂”

  4. raven says

    Federal prosecutors in New York on Thursday unsealed criminal charges against Stephen K. Bannon, …

    Well, there go their jobs.

    We all know what happens to Federal prosecutors who actually do their job and indict and arrest GOP criminals.
    They get fired by our crooked Attorney General, Bill Barr.

  5. raven says

    FWIW, this is not the first time Steven Bannon has been in trouble with the law.
    Domestic violence.
    He is a horrible person all the way down.

    Trump campaign CEO once charged in domestic violence … › story › 2016/08 › steve-bannon-domestic-viole…

    Aug 25, 2016 – The Santa Monica, Calif., police report says that Bannon’s then-wife claimed he pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their …

  6. cartomancer says

    Everyone’s least favourite wight supremacist finally being banished back to his tomb? It’s a small win, but I’ll take it.

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    Hmmmmm… Steve has got to have some dirt on Trump. I wonder if they’re going to try to flip him?

  8. says

    He’s been arrested for fraud. Is anyone surprised?

    Me. I’m surprised. I can’t believe that he was actually arrested. With Trump in charge of the Executive branch, which includes the Department of Justice, and McConnell in charge of the Senate, and the whole Trump crew having escaped legal repercussions for their actions (which in general were just as bad before the election) for 8 years under Obama (and, in many cases, for 8 years under Clinton as well), I’m surprised that this happened. He must have managed to rip off some seriously rich people, rather than the usual Republican stealing from people who can’t really afford it, or else he’d never be facing charges.

    Not surprised at all about the “fraud” part — like most people, I called that one long ago.

  9. kwc20 says

    He’s been arrested for fraud. Is anyone surprised?

    Don’t worry. The Donald will pardon him soon enough. Probably right after the election.

  10. says

    Don’t bet on the Trump pardon. First, timing-wise, Trump would have to (legitimately) win in November to have a chance of pardoning Bannon after any potential conviction.

    But then there’s this (via NY Daily News email):

    Trump slams Bannon for ‘showboating’ on crooked ‘We Build the Wall’ fundraising scam
    President Trump sought to distance himself Thursday from his former White House political adviser and campaign chief after Bannon was federally charged with defrauding a charity that raised money to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Trump claimed he never liked Bannon’s idea of soliciting donations to build a chunk of the wall alongside the government-built barrier that Trump infamously claimed Mexico would pay for.

    Please resume your regularly scheduled happy dancing.

  11. kwc20 says

    First, timing-wise, Trump would have to (legitimately) win in November to have a chance of pardoning Bannon after any potential conviction.


    To The Donald, any win is “legitimate”, and any loss means the system was “rigged” against him. He’ll have 2 months to run through his list of pardons, when 2 days will probably be sufficient.

  12. says

    @#15, nomdeplume:

    Couldn’t have anything to do with the Democrats visibly pulling away to the right as fast as possible, exactly as anybody with a functioning brain knew they would do if Biden was the nominee, and abandoning everything the base wants in order to chase Republican votes when the Republicans have been locked into Trump ever more firmly with every passing week since he got his nomination in 2016, could it?

    Nah, obviously the whole “play chicken with the base and hope the Republicans will reward us” strategy which worked so well for Hillary Clinton is a real winner.

  13. nomdeplume says

    @17 Sure Vicar, I get the “given a choice between a pseudo-Republican Party and a real Republican Party people will usually choose the real one”. But in 2020 the real one is led by a sociopathic grifter who is mentally deteriorating by the day and has spent the last 3 years playing golf and typing in all-caps on Twitter, and the pseudo one isn’t. How can the nice people of Minnesota have the two running neck and neck?

  14. says

    From Axios today:
    “Bannon’s indictment makes him the sixth person linked to the senior leadership of the 2016 Trump campaign to be hit with federal charges.”

    Can’t wait to see who lucky number 7 is. Who’s it gonna be? Rollin’ the dice for number 7. Come on, daddy needs a new ankle bracelet.

  15. consciousness razor says

    How can the nice people of Minnesota have the two running neck and neck?

    Has no one ever told you that “Minnesota nice” is bullshit?

  16. says

    @#18, nomdeplume:

    I think it’s because the Democratic Convention has basically been an exercise in “don’t worry, Republicans, Biden won’t change anything”. If the last several decades have shown anything, it’s that Democrats can only win by getting out the vote, and saying flat-out “we’re going to do just what the Republicans have been doing” is exactly the opposite of that.

    Biden has always been a fool, and a stupid person’s candidate. Now we’re going to watch him do his best to lose to Trump. Way to go, “Blue No Matter Who” imbeciles, you saddled us with a guy who thinks he can win as a Democrat on Republican voters.

  17. says

    @#23, WMDKitty — Survivor:

    When the word “Democrat” has lost all meaning outside of “belongs to the Democratic Party” there’s no reason not to tear them down when they move so far to the right that they are actively undermining the party’s electoral position. And that’s what all of the leadership is doing now. People like you enable them. You should be ashamed.

  18. ORigel says

    @21 For many of us, Biden wasn’t our first choice, or even in our top five. I voted for Sanders even though I almost depised him, because he was better than Bloomberg or Biden, the only other viable choices.

  19. Chaos Engineer says

    There’s a saying, “You go to the polls with the electorate you have, not the electorate you wish you had.”

    The key to the his election isn’t figuring out how to get the highest turnout of Progressives. Those would most be wasted votes in the states that Democrats are already guaranteed to win. The key is appealing to the center-right voters in the swing states, especially Florida and Pennsylvania.

    Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to do that. Biden *might,” depending on how much Putin/Trump are able to cheat and spread misinformation.

    If it’s any consolation, even if a Progressive candidate had been nominated and won, there’s no way they’d be able to accomplish anything. The current Supreme Court would strike down any remotely progressive legislation that got passed.

  20. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    Fruad – Is bad.
    Steve Bannon – Is bad.
    Steve Bannon being arrested – That is good.
    Stever Bannon being arrested for fraud – Steve arrested is good. Fraud is still bad.
    Steve Bannon arrested for defrauding other racists – Steve arrested is good – for defrauding other racists is good.
    Steve Bannon arrested for defrauding other racists for money that would go to racist cause – Welp I call this one a win win win.

  21. Chaos Engineer says

    Edit: “Wasted votes” is the wrong phrase – I mean votes that don’t impact the Electoral College counts. They’re still valuable for non-Presidential races.

  22. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    @ 26 Chaos Engineer
    That sounds like being a moderate Republican party with extra steps.

  23. says

    Vicar — Oh, right, I should “be ashamed” for working with what’s available, yeah. Not happening, cupcake. You really should just STFU if you can’t be productive.

  24. rpjohnston says

    Considering laws mean nothing I wonder what the point is. “Federal prosecutors?” So the ones owned by Barr and Trump. My guess is to put him in front of friendlies and go through the motions and secure double jeopardy protections. Kinda like how Republican Axelrod got Republican Mueller to do a half-assed job before Dems could find one of their nads and appoint someone competent.

    @26 the myth of center-right voters is a lie people tell themselves to avoid confronting the terrifying reality that we have in front of us, including, to be blunt, that 80 years ago we went across the sea to put millions of bad people in the ground, who are now at least on paper our “countrymen”. The wispy vapor on the edge is electorally insignificant and anybody who can be influenced one way or the other is an amoral homunculus. There are no center-right people wavering between childrens’ concentration camps + millions of plague deaths + a culture of sheer hatred and destruction, and normal shit.

    You really want to appeal to voters? Stop treating them like children that need shit-obvious concepts explained to them. Treat them likes adults who you trust with the responsibility of accepting the consequences of their own decisions.

    The vast majority of progressives aren’t like that faker Vicar, by the way, or the other whiny dead-enders on Twitter. In fact most of us have decided that this shit won’t stop till we take the power and use it to save ourselves and our country. We’re willing to work with those who are actually useful to the cause even if they aren’t one of us, like Harris. Or even Biden, grating as that is.

    As for the supreme court – well that’s why you expand the court, stack it, impeach the bad guys, and of course destroy them in the media.

  25. William George says

    America has moved so far to the right over the past 40 years that some people can’t wrap their heads around the fact that Pelosi, Biden and the rest of their ilk would have fit right into Reagan’s and Bush 1’s administrations.

  26. rpjohnston says

    Oh and for any who followed along on the other thread, @26 is part of what I’m talking about here. “We have to appeal the center-right!” is what we’ve heard for decades, even as the Right – and thus the relative position of center-right” has screamed away toward and off a cliff that whole time. That we’ve managed to extract a decent step to the left in the platform, despite the mainstays in the party constantly wetting themselves over it, speaks to a truth: Those of us who are Progressives have managed to claim enough power in the party that they have to deal with us, even as they protest that they don’t and are really after those wafting Republicans.

    But using our influence to force the Party to the left doesn’t mean we’ve convinced the Party at large of our rectitude, only our power; their actual positions are still in chasing the legendary Convertible republicans rightward. That conviction is impossible, except by electing people who have that conviction.

  27. consciousness razor says

    The key is appealing to the center-right voters in the swing states, especially Florida and Pennsylvania.

    I can agree that you and others believe this bit of orthodoxy (that doing so is the key), so this is the type of claim you make. But is it right, and how would you know if it is?

    — If the strategy doesn’t work (which of course has happened numerous times), the Republican opponent wins instead. This year, in the presidential race, that happens to be Trump.
    — A “win” (which I concede does happen sometimes) means the Dems take a big dump on not just leftists but on poor, working-class people of all persuasions.

    You could try to say that unfortunately we’re in a lose-lose scenario, so we simply have to think “it is what it is” and act accordingly. But I don’t see how that’s true. This is a deliberately-chosen strategy, one among many. It’s not just some kind of brute fact or a law of nature or whatever. And that strategy certainly has failed in the past, as I mentioned, so you ought to be at least a little worried about the reasoning/evidence which is supposed to support it. If that turns out to be garbage, we do have the option of trying something else instead. But you can’t really think that way, if you believe it’s simply that our hands are tied and effectively nothing can be done.

    There’s also a bit of a dilemma. You could try to claim (correctly or not) that the Dems have an agenda that’s “very progressive” or “FDR-like” or whatever (which notably agrees with the Trump campaign’s message … not usually a good sign). But if you do that, you had better not say it in front of these right-wing types, who are supposed to get all of the coddling and pandering that you can possibly muster, in order for the strategy to “work” by reeling in those voters. What you can’t honestly do is say that it’s left-wing to people on the left, while also saying that it’s right-wing to people on the right. You could be like a lot of politicians and say basically nothing, but that wouldn’t get us anywhere.

    I guess if you want this plan to “work” (in the sense that Trump loses), then when people on the left say the agenda is a bunch of crap, you should be agreeing with them and not disputing that sort of thing unless they are in fact wrong about any of the particulars. And you should do that loudly and proudly. If you’re confident enough about it to risk so much — all of the doomsday predictions about another Trump term speak for themselves — then lots of leftists being upset about it should be music to your ears, because that’s also supposed to be what this key group of voters in swing states want to hear. Presumably, the more they hear that, the better.

    Are you going to be very comfortable with this, if what you actually want is something that isn’t designed to piss off leftists as much as possible? Probably not. But it’s not like you need to defend decisions that you don’t agree with, so if that’s where you find yourself, you could just be disgusted with the whole thing like lots of other people are.

  28. Chaos Engineer says

    Like I said, you go to the polls with the electorate you have, not the electorate you wish you had.

    The sad truth is that, right now, about 40% of the population are bigots who are willing to live in abject ignorant misery, as long as it means that traditionally-persecuted minority groups will continue to be persecuted. And another 20% are opposed to bigotry in theory, but aren’t willing to consider any solutions that will take even one thin dime out of their pockets. And the last 40% are deeply-flawed human beings who want to do the right thing but constantly struggle against their weaknesses and worst impulses.

    If Biden wins, then the US will have a better President than it deserves. Obviously some individuals deserve better, but the electorate-as-a-whole does not.

  29. komarov says

    I’m mostly surprised the scam was so blatant. Isn’t Bannon supposed to be some sort of mastermind strategic genius? At any rate, given how justice has worked out for Trump & Co so far we have to assume this is just show. He’ll be arrested, tried and generally inconvenienced for a ilttle bit and then magically be free again, be it through a pardon, fired prosecutors or whatever. And afterwards he won’t get in trouble again because he’d already been charged and nothing stuck. No do-overs. Oh, and he’ll be able to play the victim card. “They tried to come after me!!” That was alreay popular in the right-wing before that QAnon universal conspiracy, now it must be even more effective.

    “””Everyone’s least favourite wight supremacist finally being banished back to his tomb? It’s a small win, but I’ll take it.””” (Cartomancer, # 7)

    I’ll believe it when they seal the sarcophagus and lose the tomb in the desert for a thousand years.

  30. says

    Is Trump’s MAGA cult ever going to tire of being scammed? I’m starting to think thy like it. TrumpCo just takes and takes and feeds them bowls full of slop and they eat it up and ask for seconds. It’s kinda sad.

  31. says

    This week, the Dems have nixed single payer healthcare from their party platform, and added fossil fuel subsidies back in, claiming it was an error to include language promising to eliminate them. Also this week, Nancy Pelosi endorsed the primary challenger of Sen. Ed Markey, her former House colleague for decades, who authored the Senate version of the “Green New Deal” bill. Before that, she endorsed incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski against his progressive primary challenger Marie Newman (who won, btw). Lipinski did not endorse Obama for reelection in 2012, opposes abortion and gay marriage, and tend to vote with Trump and Republicans on critical legislation.

    It is not unfair for all voters – left, right, centrist, whatever – to ask, What do Democrats stand for? What do they stand against? And conclude, overall correctly, that the answer is nothing.

  32. antigone10 says


    You want to know why Minnesota is in play? Because the Trump administration has flooded the airwaves here. I can’t turn on Youtube without it auto-playing an anti-Biden ad. The radio is flooded with Trump ads. I don’t have tv, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that there are dozens of ads on there as well. You take a step outside the city and it’s flooded with Trump billboards. And they are all pushing the same scary scary message- Biden is going to let the “criminals” from the big city steal your shit and murder you and the cops will be unable to protect you. And it’s working because even though Trump has been disastrous for the ag community, had the worst response to COVID ever, and just the worst human being, they are just really, really racist and do not want to come to terms with that.

    Your explanation is for why you’re not voting for a Democrat. But you have zero evidence that Ole and Lena Olson from Hutchingson are voting for Trump because Biden isn’t “liberal enough”. If anything, they might end up voting for Biden because “Trump is just so mean, and maybe if I vote for Biden my daughter will come home for Thanksgiving”. (There’s the ad that should be run by the Dems- you want to see your grandkids? Vote Biden).

    You have one way of getting Trump out of office, and that’s to work with the Dems. That’s the system we have, Complaining about it doesn’t make the Dems more liberal. You know what does make the Dems more liberal? Them getting political power, and then putting pressure on them. And actually taking a wide-eyed look as to who we have for an electorate. Biden got elected because more Dems voted for him than didn’t. He wasn’t my first choice, but you know what? He co-sponsored the Violence Against Women Act, which had a really, positive effect in my life. So spend as much time tearing down Trump as you do the Dems, or, maybe advocate for those down-ticket people you like, if you can’t stomach saying anything nice about the person directly responsible for my family having a place to go when my mom tried to leave my dad. Tina Smith is also in a dead head with her Republican- why don’t you toss her a few dollars and let people know she’s on the ballot too? Trump is a disaster, he has to get out.

  33. gnokgnoh says

    Vicar et al, you guys are possessed. This comparison by the Family Research Council
    does not think the two parties are the same. It’s a comparison by a right wing religious group for gawd’s sake!! It actually tries to be accurate on the Democrat[ic] side, which is more credit than you get. The false equivalency is painful, if it was not so false. This is exactly what the right wants you to say and write…repeatedly.

    Ironically, in principle I agree with you, the Democratic party, our government in general, and the Overton window are way too far to the right. My frustration started working in college to elect Mondale and Dukakis. I ended up disgusted by Clinton, and Obama frustrated the hell out of me, especially his foreign policy. It’s on us to change that. If you listened to your hated enemy Obama, he repeatedly said, “we’re not perfect, our country is not perfect, it’s a work in progress.” Biden also clearly identified four existential crises we face: climate change, economic, the pandemic, and systemic racism. The first step to change is to recognize the problems. Let’s hold him to getting to the next step.

  34. Stuart Smith says

    If people choose to stay home and not support Biden after Trump has literally sent unaccountable paramilitary troops into an American city to arrest and brutalize protesters (not to mention reporters!) then I guess they can feel really good about their intellectual consistency as they are marched into the ovens.

    The second Biden wins, we turn on him and attack him louder and harder than the right for every single thing he does that isn’t a complete capitulation to our agenda. Now if Biden wins and all the BLM protestors pack up and go home and everyone falls in line and spends all their time defending him, like with Obama, then that would be pretty shitty. But we literally CANNOT push Trump to the left. We know his response to opposition, and it’s a violent one. And it doesn’t even help us optically because his supporters get off on it, and everyone else expects it. If it were Biden doing that stuff, it would be hurting him. It helps Trump. Unless we are a majority big enough to threaten open revolt, we have to play the game. If we want to be effective, we need to push two ideas – one is that we are strong and powerful, which we cannot push if we are being beaten and shot any time we speak too loudly, and the other is that neo-liberalism will not fix our problems, which we cannot push if there is no neo-liberal trying to solve our problems.

    There is no path to meaningful victory for the left that doesn’t go through Biden, except for waiting until 2024 and spending the meantime watching America’s public institutions falling, the supreme court moving further right, and the politically ignorant becoming more and more nostalgic for the time there were centrists in power. Not to mention the possibility that Biden might at least stop putting kids in cages, if not maybe get some of them out, which really should be enough to get any kind of semi-decent human being on his side.

  35. unclefrogy says

    The second Biden wins, we turn on him and attack him louder and harder than the right for every single thing he does that isn’t a complete capitulation to our agenda. Now if Biden wins and all the BLM protestors pack up and go home and everyone falls in line and spends all their time defending him, like with Obama, then that would be pretty shitty. But we literally CANNOT push Trump to the left.

    That is the point There is no other better one. Why it has to be said at all is hard to understand.
    The great unbent vocal opposition to any but their chosen savior and ideals just do not get it. There is no great leader or party that is going to do it for us.
    I was finally impressed by the points Obama brought up the other day he finally reach back to his organizer roots. democracy is not a transaction that occurs at elections where we select those who will do the governing and then set back and do noting while they do it.
    We the citizen voters have to be engaged in it all of the time at all levels not just marching in the street but letters and other direct communication with the elected and the parties they represent. We need to communicate with each other as well what we think and what we know. If we want something we need to push for it until we get then defend it when we have it. Is there really any thing else we can do.
    MLK did not stop pushing for a more just society until he was shot dead!
    if in your journey you encounter an impenetrable obstacle is it wise to just stop and complain while trying to push through it or maybe try going around it even if it is longer and requires more effort?
    uncle frogy

  36. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Stuart Smith: “The second Biden wins, we turn on him and attack him louder and harder than the right for every single thing he does that isn’t a complete capitulation to our agenda.”

    That is precisely what the left did even before he was sworn in–and that is why Obamacare doesn’t have a public option. Policy is going to be decided largely in the Senate–that is where Dems will have the smallest margins if they have control at all. It is where all of Biden’s nominees will go for confirmation…or not.

    The greatest progressive advances have not come when we had the most progressive presidents. LBJ was not that progressive. Nor was FDR, really. The greatest advances have come when Presidents knew how to work Congress and get action on feasible legislation. Winning the Presidency is not the finish line. Get as many progressive Senators as possible elected, and Biden will have to move to the left. Your “turning on him” once he’s elected won’t matter worth a tinker’s damn.

  37. says

    If you want to keep a progressive incumbent Senator in office while the Dems are bankrolling a Republican Lite™ candidate running against him in a primary, please do whatever you can to support Ed Markey’s campaign here. The Massachusetts primary is on September 1.

  38. KG says

    The Vicar@21,

    Why are you pretending to be angry? You want Trump to win. You’ve said so outright, we all know it. On the other hand, hardly anyone commenting regularly here wanted Biden to win the nomination. But now he has, the choice is between him and Trump. We know you choose Trump because you want people you hate to suffer. You’ve said so outright, we all know it. But most of us disagree.

    BTW, in 2016 Clinton won Minnesota, but votes for Trump plus those for Johnson (the “Libertarian”) and McMullin, the dissident Republican, totalled just over 50%. Votes for Clinton and Stein together totalled less than 48%. And as has already been pointed out, there’s Michelle Bachmann.

  39. KG says

    Vicar et al, you guys are possessed. This comparison by the Family Research Council
    does not think the two parties are the same. It’s a comparison by a right wing religious group for gawd’s sake! – gnokgnoh@40

    Exactly. If there were really no difference between Trump and Biden, Republican and Democratic parties, it would be inexplicable that the entire far right, the vast majority of white evangelicals, Fox News, Alex Jones, etc. are so desperate for Trump to win. Along with The Vicar, of course.

  40. KG says

    @46 I forgot the police unions, the NRA, the forced-birthers, ICE… None of them believe there’s no difference between Trump and Biden.