Longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon has long sought — much like his former boss — to portray himself as a victim of a prosecutorial system weaponized against Trump and his ideology, this week calling new charges against him "phony" and vowing "they will have to kill me" to stop him from his political activism.
But on Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The ReidOut," former Brooklyn prosecutor Charles Coleman argued that the new money laundering and conspiracy charges, stemming from his efforts to steal money out of his own "We Build The Wall" nonprofit project crowdfunding Trump's border wall construction, is different in a way that may make it harder for Trump supporters to take his claims of martyrdom seriously.
"This is an interesting sort of development in that what he's charged with is not hurting the republic or fomenting an insurrection, it's hurting Trump donors," said anchor Joy Reid. "I wonder, inside of Trump world, is he being supported or not? It was Trump's own people that he harmed."
"That's an interesting question because if you think about it, like you said, these are all Trump supporters in New York City who actually sent him money," said Coleman. "So the question becomes, at a certain point, does it become better or worse for business for you to be sort of persecuted by a politicized media and politicized justice system that has been weaponized against all things Trump?"
"I think that narrative holds to a degree, but when you talk about defrauding Trump supporters, I'm not sure it goes well," Coleman added. "This may not play so well because you've defrauded your own people. You've taken money from and grifted your own supporters."
The new charges in New York come after federal indictments for the same scheme were handed down two years ago, only for Trump to pardon him on his way out of office. It also comes as Bannon is scheduled to be sentenced on his conviction for contempt of Congress, after he refused to cooperate with subpoenas from the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
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