August 20, 2020

Some breaking news from the Southern District Of New York this morning, as federal prosecutors indicted Steve Bannon for his part in a $25M fraud case.

"Our legal analyst is on the phone. Reading this indictment that came down from the SDNY, we are talking about raising $25 million. What is being alleged here?" Poppy Harlow asked former prosecutor and CNN analyst Elie Honig.

"So this is essentially a massive embezzlement that is being alleged here and a fraud. So the fraud, first of all, is in the way that the defendants, including Steve Bannon, who is one of the four charged defendants, marketed this 'build the wall' operation. They essentially marketed it as an operation where, if you donated this money is going to be used to build the border wall, but instead -- this is the embezzlement part, Bannon and the others essentially pocketed the money, they used it to fund their own lavish lifestyle in a way to --obviously, it's a sensational case involving very politically charged issues relating to the wall and a well-known person, Steve Bannon. But in a way it's really a straightforward fraud and embezzlement case and the evidence looking at a indictment right now looks quite strong to me."

In response to a question from Jim Sciutto, yes, Bill Barr would have been notified, Honig said.

"Look, the SDNY is famously independent. People used to call -- still call it the sovereign district of New York because the SDNY is famously independent from politics. That said, as you noted, it is under the control or supervision of the attorney general, and in a case like this with potential political implications, that has to go up to main Justice to the attorney general," he said.

"Let's bring in our colleague Kara Scanell. This is your wheelhouse and you're joining us on the phone. This is a big deal. These are serious allegations against Steve Bannon and others, of course, very close to the president, and we're talking about millions of dollars here. What do you know?" Harlow asked.

"Yeah, that's right, Poppy. So these charges are just out today, and we're told by the U.S. Attorney's office that Steve Bannon is in custody, that he has been arrested," she said.

You can read the details here.

Bannon is looking at 25 years, and it looks like a strong case. Wonder if he'll cooperate with any of the other SDNY cases surrounding Trump? Stay tuned!

Oh, and you know who else was charged and arrested in the same case? This guy.

And look at the board members!

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