Does The "G" In GOP Stand For Grifters Now? Bannon's Going To Prison

Early this morning, Politico reported that “The number of online donors to the Republican Party unexpectedly dropped in the first half of 2022… Online fundraising usually ramps up dramatically and predictably over the course of an election cycle. But campaign finance data show that in the first half of this year, the number of people giving federal contributions to Republican candidates and committees through WinRed— the GOP’s widely used donation processing platform— fell to around 913,000 down from roughly 956,000 contributors during the six months prior. The surprising dip illustrates broader fundraising difficulties that have plagued GOP candidates in key races across the country this summer, even amid hopes that the party could retake control of Congress. It reflects the party’s long-standing challenges in building donor lists to power its campaigns… By contrast, the number of donors giving to Democrats through ActBlue, their preferred online donor platform, has increased over the course of the 2022 election cycle, from about 1.9 million who gave through ActBlue to federal committees in the last six months of 2021 to 2.5 million in the first half of 2022.”

Perhaps even Republican donors are getting tired of being scammed and victimized by grifters. They get enough of that at Church every Sunday. This morning ABC News reported that “a federal grand jury investigating the activities leading up the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the push by Trump and his allies to overturn the result of the 2020 election has expanded its probe to include seeking information about Trump's leadership PAC, Save America. The interest in the fundraising arm came to light as part of grand jury subpoenas seeking documents, records and testimony from potential witnesses, the sources said. The subpoenas, sent to several individuals in recent weeks, are specifically seeking to understand the timeline of Save America's formation, the organization's fundraising activities, and how money is both received and spent by the Trump-aligned PAC… Trump and his allies have consistently pushed supporters to donate to the PAC, often using false claims about the 2020 election and soliciting donations to rebuke the multiple investigations into the former president, his business dealings, and his actions on Jan. 6. After the FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate last month, Save America PAC sent out a fundraising email in which Trump urged supporters to ‘rush in a donation IMMEDIATELY to publicly stand with me against this NEVERENDING WITCH HUNT.’”

The Save America PAC has brought in more than $135 million, much ion it by tricking inspecting Trump fans to sign up for monthly contributions.

Today one of the far right’s top grifters, multimillionaire fascist Steve Bannon surrendered to the Manhattan district attorney’s office and “faces New York state money laundering and conspiracy charges related to an effort to raise money to fund construction of a wall along the southern US border. 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 that alleged he and three others had defrauded donors in the border wall effort, which raised more than $25 million. Presidential pardons do not apply to state investigations, however.”

"This is all about 60 days from the day," he said later, referencing the November election.
The Manhattan district attorney's office launched a criminal investigation into Bannon's "We Build the Wall" crowd-fundraising activities early last year after then-President Trump pardoned Bannon on federal fraud charges relating to the same alleged scheme.
Bannon had been federally 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.
In recent months, several people close to Bannon were brought before the state grand jury.
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.
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 in the statement, adding: "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."
A federal jury in July found Bannon guilty of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October and faces a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail, according to federal law.

The Washington Post noted that “Bannon’s three-count indictment... includes charges of money laundering in the first and second degrees and conspiracy in the forth degree. On the top count he faces up to 15 years in prison but none of the counts carry a mandatory minimum term of incarceration upon conviction.”

Not unrelated, you might want to read Dr. Steve Jonas’ latest on the 7 con games Trump plays on his sucker followers. Short version:

1. He has always had one or more protectors and enablers, either personal, or financial or both.

2. For decades he has had a standard operating procedure when he faces an adversary of any kind. He learned it from Roy Cohn (who learned it from Joseph McCarthy): "Always attack; Never defend." (Just watch him deal with "Die Luegen Presse" in his daily campaign speeches.)

3. Also learned from Roy Cohn is the mantra: "when you run into a problem, just sue." You may not win, and it may cost you some money. But a) you might win and b) with the endlessness with which civil litigation can be drawn out in the U.S. legal system, that other side may just get worn out.

4. In the whole of his business life, Trump has never been responsible to anyone else, either above him (except for Dad, of course) or even alongside.

5. Trump has (for the most part happily) lived his life surrounded by enemies, whether in business, in his personal life, in his banking and financial life (except for a select few, like Deutsche Bank), certainly in politics, and not just at this time. In dealing with them his Art of the Deal has not been deal-making, but attempted opponent-crushing. Negotiation is just not his thing.

6. Trump is history's greatest con man.

7. "They are all picking on me."