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Bannon and Brian Kolfage et al of We Build the Wall fame cannot be pardoned by trump  

nosnowforme 64F  
391 posts
8/20/2020 2:38 pm
Bannon and Brian Kolfage et al of We Build the Wall fame cannot be pardoned by trump

New York federal prosecutors charged trump's former adviser Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea with defrauding donors of hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a fundraising campaign purportedly aimed at supporting trump's border wall.

Bannon and Brian Kolfage et al of We Build the Wall fame cannot be pardoned by trump (as trump will no longer be on the payroll).

Hopefully public service is their restitution and we dont waste our tax dollars by sending them 'away'. I think cleaning National Park restrooms We Clean Toilets for 10 years everyday would befit them all nicely.

nosnowforme 64F  
368 posts
9/6/2020 11:06 pm

Scammer rule one:
Dont splash out publicly on vehicles and implants that you could not otherwise be able to afford

Kalbi54 65M
1254 posts
8/23/2020 9:14 am

    Quoting Kalbi54:
    If it is a Federal crime that a person is convicted for, POTUS can pardon. Remember he has until Jan 20, 2021, noon to grant any sort of clemency. Recall that Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for all crimes while acting as President. Please don't shoot the messenger
Sorry, I was not trying to talk down to you.

Trump can pardon anyone for crimes they may have committed but not yet indicted for, at least on the federal level. Nixon was never indicted and with that blanket pardon, could not be indicted. That's why the Justice Dept never went after him.

What I'm concerned about is Trump cooking a deal with Pence. Imagine Trump steps down under the 25th Amendment, then Pence takes over as acting President and issues a pardon with same parameters as Ford did with Nixon. Whether Trump's ego will allow himself to be declared "unfit" is conjecture although to save his a$$ from jail is compelling. Would Pence do it? Again conjecture because that would likely blow any chance of Pence running for office.

nosnowforme 64F  
368 posts
8/23/2020 7:17 am

What was really going on with the constant border-wall fundraising efforts? It should come as no surprise that, if the indictment proves correct, private profiteering was part of the motive for the project led by Steve Bannon, a former adviser to trump, and Kolfage.

It has been apparent that might be the case since those two and others, including anti-immigration attorney Kris Kobach, launched their fundraising campaign at the Quail Creek Country Club in Sahuarita on Feb. 8, 2019. They would target fearful, older conservatives with alarming border rhetoric and rake in donations.

It’s a proven marketing strategy that Bannon and trump used to help trump win the White House. Now, the indictment says, Bannon and Kolfage would use it to make themselves a little money while also building a little wall: About 4 1/2 miles so far.

The problem: They promised in numerous fundraising appeals that 100% of donated money would go to the border-wall projects, not to them. Bannon told my colleague Curt Prendergast the same thing that night at Quail Creek: 100% to the project. But as Prendergast pointed out in Friday’s paper, it was just three days after the Quail Creek event that Bannon arranged a secret, $100,000 payment of donated money to Kolfage, according to the indictment.

Three days later!

Kolfage requested the $100,000 up front, then a salary of $20,000 per month, the indictment says. That adds up to a healthy $240,000 per year. More than $1 million of the donations were diverted through a nonprofit group controlled by Bannon, with the grandiose name Citizens of the American Republic, prosecutors allege.

Kolfage, Bannon, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Unsurprisingly, Bannon argued after his release Friday that the prosecution was a politically motivated “hit job.”

Online alarmism makes money

Yet the concern that this crew might profit off the fears of fellow conservatives was widespread even at the time the project started. They’d done it before — and it’s a pattern especially on the political right.

The National Rifle Association is accused of similar misbehavior in a New York lawsuit seeking to dissolve the group. For decades, the NRA has hyped fear that people would have their guns seized, and executives of the NRA used the resulting membership money to live in luxury, the New York Attorney General’s Office alleges.

Kolfage is an appealing character because he is an Air Force veteran who lost three limbs in a 2004 rocket attack in Iraq. That garnered him sympathy and credibility here in the Tucson area, where he graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in architecture.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was in her last days as a member of Congress in January 2012 when she invited Kolfage to attend the State of the Union speech. Ernesto Portillo Jr. profiled Kolfage in the Star in February 2013.

But after graduating from the UA in 2014, Kolfage migrated to the online world, making alarmist right-wing content for money, Buzzfeed News reported in January 2019.

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“Starting in 2016, he hired about a half dozen people to post and spread content across at least 10 accounts, pushing them to sensationalize and fabricate content to gain more followers and reap thousands in advertising dollars,” Buzzfeed reported.

Kolfage operated Freedom Daily and Right Wing News among other sites, and the revenue skyrocketed, former employees told Buzzfeed. He saw how well alarmism sells.

Populism from a yacht

Kobach, a key force behind Arizona’s SB 1070, ran a different sort of money-making operation using a similar political platform: immigration alarmism.

Starting around 2005, he convinced towns around the Great Plains and South to pass anti-illegal-immigration ordinances, ProPublica reported in 2018. When the ACLU would challenge the ordinances, the municipalities would hire Kobach to defend them.

Farmers Branch, Texas, spent seven years defending its Kobach-inspired ordinance and paid $7 million in legal expenses, $190,000 of it to Kobach, ProPublica reported. The town’s ordinance never even went into effect, and its then-mayor described Kobach’s pitch as “a sham.”

Bannon’s game has long been to talk like an American populist while living like a member of the global elite. Bannon was arrested Thursday on board a $28 million yacht, anchored off the coast of Connecticut — a yacht owned by an exiled Chinese billionaire.

In fact, the day before he was arrested, Bannon did a YouTube broadcast from the yacht in which he talked with Kolfage about fundraising for the wall project. He also resorted to that bottom-scraping behavior of all right-wing talkers: He hyped economic panic and then recommended buying gold and other precious metals, on behalf of a sponsor. Seeing a pattern? It’s making big money from regular people by selling fear. You should recognize it, because a similar sham, or scam, has been played on all of us by trump’s administration.

Border scam

The big border wall — the one trump took $6 billion from the Defense Department to build — is a publicly funded political project that also benefits trump’s cronies. It’s the taxpayers’ version of the border barriers paid for by We Build The Wall’s donors.

Like Bannon and Kolfage, trump sold it with a heavy dose of fear-mongering. He argued, among other reasons, that a border wall would reduce violence by MS-13 — a dubious claim about a gang that was born in the USA and already had deep roots in various parts of the country.

While the benefits that accrued to trump have apparently been political, not financial, money has flowed to his supporters. In fact, the tissue that connects the trump border wall with We Build The Wall is a contractor called Fisher Sand & Gravel.

The North Dakota-based company has Arizona operations in Tempe and a president, Tommy Fisher, who has courted trump through TV appearances. Fisher Sand & Gravel built the 1-mile and 3.5-mile sections of wall that donors to Kolfage and Bannon’s group paid for.

trump repeatedly asked for officials to award contracts to Fisher, and lo and behold, the company has been awarded about $2 billion worth, most of it in Southern Arizona between Nogales and Sasabe, and at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

Alarmist rhetoric raises the money, and the money motive drives more rhetoric. One of the characters delivering the tough border talk is a Fisher employee called Foreman Mike, who has led construction of the two stretches of border wall built by Kolfage’s team in New Mexico and Texas. Foreman Mike, a gruff character who plays a working-class truth-teller on fundraising videos, also sends out emails, supporting Kolfage’s efforts.

“Dear Fellow Patriot,” began an Aug. 12 pitch I received. “I have another update from the Southern Border. I just came face to face with 10 illegal aliens as they tried to sneak around our Border Wall.”

Then he got down to business:

“We’re ready to get building on Job Sites 3 & 4, but we NEED your support right away. We need to raise $200,000 before August 15th — just THREE DAYS from now — so we can break ground on MILES of new Border Wall.”

Always the alarm, always the urgent need to hand over your money now.

Kalbi54 65M
1254 posts
8/22/2020 8:30 am

If it is a Federal crime that a person is convicted for, POTUS can pardon. Remember he has until Jan 20, 2021, noon to grant any sort of clemency. Recall that Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for all crimes while acting as President. Please don't shoot the messenger

nosnowforme replies on 8/22/2020 3:06 pm:
Thanks for man-splaining that ...very helpful
trump will be out of the job way before this even gets to trial

pocogato12 68F  
34846 posts
8/21/2020 9:43 am

I atill wonder where all that money really went?? Latrine duty is even too good but dont waste my money on jail- they dine better that I do

(Virtual Symposium Group) use Virtual Symposium Group

lindoboy100 57M
22299 posts
8/21/2020 2:43 am

I'm sure most of those guys have profiles on this site.......specifically for the purposes of raising cash to build the wall.......ahem!

What I really struggle with is why the american people have allowed this bunch of two bit hoods and criminals to populate their highest offices. At least the previous bunch of crooks had style and panache!

Pull ma finger.........

nosnowforme replies on 8/21/2020 5:57 am:

Massass1963 57M
359 posts
8/20/2020 8:19 pm

Well when Trump gets another 4 years who knows what will happen! The election is already decided. We may not know the results for sure, but all voters have made up their minds. Those who hate Trump will continue to hate Trump, but those that love Trump also will not be swayed. There is no amount of political debates, ad campaigns, or even people on this site that will influence the elections. The media has lost influence and credibility on both sides of the "aisle", as well.

nosnowforme replies on 8/21/2020 5:56 am:
Yes I understand and you are correct, the reality of your abject failure on the AgoraCosmopolitan Dating is a most interesting corollary to that of trumps

justaguyinalaska 54M  
706 posts
8/20/2020 4:29 pm

That this simple and transparent flimflam was even foisted on the public is pathetic validation of P. T. Barnum's infamous quip, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Moreover, that Bannon et al expected to neither be caught nor prosecuted speaks to Trump's insidious undermining of our national moral character and revival of USA's Gilded Age. Trump himself pleaded-out a charity fraud case with virtually no punitive consequence.

One can only hope that Southern District of New York has further pre-election *revelations* in store for Trump. (No wonder Barr worked overtime replace its prosecutors with political hacks)

nosnowforme replies on 8/20/2020 6:48 pm:
Will the Feds repo her implants?

Brownie202 63F
1905 posts
8/20/2020 3:30 pm

Oh poor t can't pardon him? What a shame NOT. But wait. Didn't it say it has the power to do what it wants? Not those exact words but same meaning.

Humans are the most dangerous animals on earth.

If only animals had the ability to know when to keep away from us humans they would be better off.

nosnowforme replies on 8/20/2020 6:50 pm:
the trump did say something not dissimilar to that

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