The state charges, which have been returned in an indictment, are based on the same conduct Bannon was charged with by federal prosecutors in 2020. Then-President Donald Trump pardoned Bannon on the federal fraud charges related to the alleged scheme as he was leaving office. Presidential pardons do not apply to state investigations.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office opened an investigation into Bannon and the crowd-fundraising effort called “We Build The Wall” after the pardon.
Bannon issued a statement late Tuesday, in part calling the indictment “phony charges” and “nothing more than a partisan political weaponization of the criminal justice system.”
“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,” he said inthe statement, adding: “They are coming after all of us, not only Present 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.”
His lawyer declined to comment to CNN.
Bannon was charged with diverting more than $1 million to pay an alleged co-conspirator and cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses. Prosecutors alleged that the donors, including some in New York, were falsely told that all the money contributed would go toward the construction effort.
Manhattan prosecutors subpoenaed bank records and quietly worked on the investigation over the past year as they investigated Trump and his real estate business, sources familiar with the matter previously told CNN. But the district attorney’s office deferred a charging decision on Bannon until federal prosecutors concluded their case against his three co-defendants, who were not pardoned.
Timothy Shea, a fourth man charged in the fundraising effort, was indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy for the alleged scheme, but a judge in June declared a mistrial after the jury informed her multiple times that it was deadlocked.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Paula Reid contributed to this report.