WASHINGTON | Steve Bannon, former adviser to US President Donald Trump accused of embezzlement for the construction of a wall on the United States-Mexico border, said Friday he was the victim of a “political conspiracy”.
“Everyone knows I’m not the type to let it go,” he said in his podcast War Room after being arrested the day before and then released on $ 5 million bail.
“I am ready to hold out as long as it takes,” he insisted. “I will continue to fight.”
The one who was one of the architects of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign is accused, along with three other people, of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal gain from a crowdfunding campaign supposed to contribute to the erection of a wall on the border with Mexico.
Steve Bannon, 66, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in front of a New York federal judge to the two counts against him, fraud and money laundering, each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The former boss of the site Breitbart News, close to the far-right, said in his podcast that his arrest was intended to “intimidate people” supporting the anti-immigration wall promised by Donald Trump during his successful campaign to 2016.
Now campaigning for his re-election, the US president took his distance on Thursday, claiming “to know nothing about this project” of crowdfunding and not to have had contact “for a very long time” with his former adviser.
After internal conflicts, Steve Bannon, initially very influential, had to leave the White House in August 2017.