(PatriotWise.com) – According to a report from ABC News, former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has asked to change attorneys amid an ongoing fraud suit.
Bannon’s current lawyer, David Schoen, told Judge Juan Merchan that there were “irreconcilable differences” on Bannon’s legal team.
John Mitchell, who is Schoen’s co-counsel, and Bannon are no longer on speaking terms. Bannon is seeking to have Mitchell replaced.
Merchan questioned the validity of Bannon’s request, suggesting that asking for a replacement attorney might be a tactic for delaying the trial.
The lawsuit, surrounding Bannon’s “We Build the Wall” campaign. Through that fundraising campaign, Bannon has been accused of fraud by way of accepting over $15 million in donations.
Donors contributed money with the intention of helping to fund construction of a wall along the US’s Southern border.
Bannon, along with members of his organization, were indicted in September 2022. Initial charges levied against Bannon included fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering. During his arraignment, Bannon pled not guilty.
Allegedly, funds donated to We Build the Wall were not meant to go toward its president, Brian Kolfage’s, salary. Fundraisers from Bannon’s group said “not a penny” would go to Kolfage when they asked for donations. However, Kolfage reportedly received a salary of over $250,000 in 2019, which came out of the donation money.
Prosecutors on the case have accused Bannon of laundering about $140,000 himself, and using some of that money to pay for personal costs.
Daniel Passesser, Manhattan’s District Attorney, said that as long as the trial proceeds as scheduled, it doesn’t matter who Bannon’s attorney is.
Bannon’s case is scheduled for trial in November 2023. Merchan has given him until February 28, 2023 to find a new attorney.
Federal charges were brought against Bannon initially, but Trump granted him clemency in January 2021, just before leaving office. The current charges, which have revived the case, were brought against Bannon by the Manhattan District Attorney and the New York Attorney General.
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