Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon on Thursday asked to change his representation in the fraud case over the “We Build the Wall” funding campaign, according to ABC News.
Bannon was indicted in September, accused of defrauding donors to “We Build the Wall,” which ultimately brought in more than $15 million. The campaign said it would donate the funds to building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border — a central platform of former President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“We Build the Wall” specifically claimed that no money would be used to pay for the salary of its president, Brian Kolfage. However, Kolfage was allegedly paid more than $250,000 in 2019, of which at least $140,000 was reportedly laundered by Bannon.
David Schoen, one of Bannon’s attorneys, told the presiding judge on Thursday that “irreconcilable differences have arisen” between Bannon and his team, according to ABC News.
“There has been a direct breakdown in communication so that Mr. Bannon and his lawyers don’t communicate directly,” Schoen said.
A prosecutor from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, however, accused Bannon of attempting to delay the case, which is expected to go to trial in November.
Judge Juan Merchan ultimately granted Bannon until Feb. 28 to find new attorneys, according to ABC News.
Bannon, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney and New York attorney general, was initially charged at the federal level over the “We Build the Wall” campaign but received presidential clemency from Trump in January 2021.
Manhattan District Attorney
New York attorney General
We Build the Wall