Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon Charged For Money Laundering: 'I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight' Photo by James Devaney/GC Images

Steve Bannon, a former Donald Trump aide, surrendered to authorities and then pleaded not guilty Thursday in a New York court to state charges of money laundering, conspiracy and fraud, according to his lawyer.

The charges are related to an alleged online scheme to raise money for the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border, reported CNN. The charges are based on the same conduct that Bannon was charged with by federal prosecutors two years ago. They alleged that he and three others had defrauded donors in the border wall effort. It had raised more than $15 million. Bannon was later pardoned by Trump, but Presidential pardons do not apply to state investigations.

Bannon, who was handcuffed and flanked by cops as they walked past reporters into court, said that this is what happens in the "last days of a dying regime." He noted that they will never shut him up, "they'll have to kill me first. I have not yet begun to fight."

The 68-year-old was released after his arraignment on fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and other charges related to the We Build the Wall campaign, reported AP News.

The indictment revealed that one of Bannon's associates, who isn't named, set up an online fundraising platform to raise money in order to build a wall on the border. Prosecutors said that to get the money from donors, the organizer promised that "100% of the funds" would go towards building a border wall.

According to the indictment, Bannon's associates talked about telling the public that those involved in the We Build The Wall project would not take a salary. Prosecutors said in the indictment that the former Trump aide publicly claimed that he was acting "kind of as a volunteer" for We Build The Wall. But behind the scenes, he allegedly helped to take in hundreds of thousands of dollars for himself and his associates.

When announcing the charges alongside Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, New York Attorney General Letitia James said that everyday Americans play by the rules, but powerful and politically connected people think that they are above the law. James noted that Bannon "stands out as a perfect example of this blatant inequality." The New York attorney general further said that Bannon “cheated everyday Americans,” and “basically stole millions of dollars to line his own pocket," reported The Guardian.

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon departs Manhattan Criminal Court on September 08, 2022 in New York City. Photo by James Devaney/GC Images

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