In 2016, many mainstream media outlets let themselves be used by Donald Trump and his henchmen (Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, etc.) to amplify nutso Hillary conspiracy stories. It helped put Trump in the White House, where he has violated the Constitution, his oath of office, and common decency pretty much every day since.
So far this time around, the media’s track record has been better. But it’s better because all the conspiracy-mongering has fallen flat. Prosecutor John Durham, who I really thought was going to do Bill Barr’s dirty work and try to rig the election by indicting a number of deep-staters with “ties” to the Obama administration, reportedly won’t issue a report until after the election, which means he has found nothing. And Wednesday morning we learned that another prosecutor set up by Barr to try to gin up a fake scandal has folded up his tent, too. He was investigating the “unmasking” “scandal,” but he too found nothing.
Federal prosecutors in New York on Thursday unsealed criminal charges against Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, and three other men they alleged defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors using an online crowdfunding campaign that was advertised as raising money to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
In a news release, prosecutors said Bannon and another organizer of the campaign, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, claimed they would not take any compensation as part of the campaign, called “We Build The Wall,” but that was a lie. Bannon, prosecutors alleged, received more than $1 million through a nonprofit he controlled, sending hundreds of thousands out to Kolfage while keeping a “substantial portion” for himself.
The campaign raised more than $25 million in total, the news release states.