Prosecutors alleged that in a fraudulent move, Bannon had taken at least $1 million of the money raised from supporters to pay another group leader's vast personal expenses. Bannon was an advisor to President Trump for the first seven months of the Trump administration.
After the hearing, he emerged from the courthouse holding his mask in his hand.
In a statement, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, "As everyone knows, President Trump has no involvement in this project and felt it was only being done in order to showboat, and perhaps raise funds". The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
William Burck, a lawyer for Bannon, had no comment on the indictment.
Shea is the owner of an energy drink company called Winning Energy. Of course, his non-profit stated the cash was going to construct a huge border wall, the one Trump stated Mexico was going to spend for. Despite the fracture, he has remained a Trump booster on the outside. Donald Trump Jr. once called it "private enterprise at its finest". "From the beginning, the wall was a nonstop scam". Key members of the wall-building group claimed the effort had Trump's "blessing" and news reports have documented numerous examples of the president's family promoting Bannon's GoFundMe scheme. It was built in a flood plain and suffered from erosion, prompting Trump to say in a tweet that it was "only done to make me look bad". "Just remember these are the guys who went after a Trump and rudy giuliani past year!" he continued.
Before Bannon worked at the White House he was the executive chairman of BreitbartNews. Opponents accused him of leaking frequently to the news media and rushing haphazard efforts to root out "deep state" opponents, while news coverage suggesting that he was using his influence to manipulate the president drew Trump's ire.
That latter quote seems dubious, since Trump isn't known to be particularly scrupulous about separating private and public interests - though it's possible he might object to such a blurring if it were lining the pockets of someone other than himself.
The indictment cites Bannon's comments that the organizers would "not take a penny in salary or compensation, "and "100% of the funds raised ... will be used in the execution of [We Build the Wall's] mission and goal".
Bannon was arrested in the early hours of Thursday on a 150-foot yacht called the Lady May in CT by agents from the US Postal Inspection Service, which investigates fraud cases.