Almost two years after he received a pardon from President Donald Trump in a federal fraud case, Steve Bannon is expected to face state indictment in New York.
In a statement first shared with NBC News on Tuesday night, Bannon said New York “has now decided to pursue phony charges against me 60 days before the midterm election.”
“This is nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system,” added Bannon, who once was the chief White House strategist in the Trump administration.
The statement came after The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the situation, reported that Bannon planned to surrender Thursday.
NBC News has asked the Manhattan district attorney’s office for comment.
The district attorney’s office last year opened an investigation into Bannon in connection with his role in a charity that was supposed to use private funds to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall, NBC News reported in February 2021.
The previous year, Bannon was indicted with three other people on charges of taking money donated to help build a wall along the southern border. Federal prosecutors alleged that Bannon’s “We Build the Wall” campaign, which raised more than $25 million, defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors who contributed to an effort to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, one of Trump’s key campaign promises.
Trump pardoned Bannon in January 2021, but presidential pardons apply only to federal charges, meaning New York is not prohibited from pursuing similar charges.
“I am proud to be a leading voice on protecting our borders and building a wall to keep our country safe from drugs and violent criminals,” Bannon said in Tuesday night’s statement. “They are coming after all of us, not only President Trump and myself. I am never going to stop fighting. In fact, I have not yet begun to fight. They will have to kill me first.”
Separately, Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress after he refused to answer questions from the House Jan. 6 committee. A jury found him guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress in July.