Bannon pleads not guilty in ‘We Build the Wall’ scheme

Bannon pleads not guilty in ‘We Build the Wall’ scheme

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump’s longtime ally Steve Bannon pleaded not guilty Thursday to duping donors who gave money to build a wall on the U.S. southern border. The case, brought by New York prosecutors, is a state-level reboot of a federal case cut short last year by a presidential pardon.

Bannon, 68, was released after his arraignment on money laundering, conspiracy, fraud and other charges related to the “We Build the Wall” campaign. He is the second person pardoned by Trump and later charged by the Manhattan district attorney’s office for the same alleged conduct.

“It’s all nonsense. They will never shut me up,” Bannon said as he left court.

Manhattan prosecutors working in conjunction with the state attorney general’s office say that although Bannon promised all donations would go to constructing the wall, he was involved in transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to third-party entities and used them to funnel payments to two other people involved in the scheme.

(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)