A New York state court Thursday set a trial date for former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon. On May 27, 2024, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. will begin his trial against Bannon, in which Bannon is accused of wrongly collecting more than $15 million from US political donors for his “We Build the Wall” organization.
Bannon appeared briefly in the New York State Supreme Court, Criminal Term on Thursday before Judge Juan Merchan. Merchan is the same judge overseeing Bragg’s unrelated criminal case against former President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Trump appeared virtually before Merchan where he assigned a March 25, 2024 trial date to the former president.
In September 2022, Bragg indicted Bannon and the not-for-profit corporation he founded, WEBUILDTHEWALL, INC., on financial fraud charges. Prosecutors allege that in 2019 Bannon lied to political donors, promising the money donated to WEBUILDTHEWALL would be directed towards the construction of a wall along the southern US border with Mexico. Bannon then diverted donated funds from WEBUILDTHEWALL towards salaries, which the organization specifically told donors it would not do. Bannon is charged with two counts of money laundering in the second degree, two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree, one count of scheme to defraud in the first degree, and one count of conspiracy in the fifth degree.
Bannon is scheduled to appear again before Merchan on April 29, 2024, where it is expected both parties will argue motions ahead of the start of the trial.