Court Battles

US attorney gives Postal Service agents a shout-out after Bannon arrest

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York credited the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) for carrying out the arrest of former White House adviser Stephen Bannon Thursday.

Bannon and Brian Kolfage, founders of the “We Build the Wall” fundraiser, were indicted Thursday morning on conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office confirmed the involvement of the USPIS, the Postal Service’s law enforcement arm, to The Hill.

“While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle,” acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement. “We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.”

Bannon was arrested by the agents on a boat off the coast of Westport, Conn., on Thursday, according to CBS. President Trump distanced himself from both his onetime chief strategist and the fundraising campaign shortly after.

“I don’t like that project. I thought it was being done for showboating reasons,” the president told reporters. “It was something that I very much felt was inappropriate to be doing.”

The involvement of USPIS attracted widespread notice Thursday morning due to the ongoing clash between Republicans and Democrats over funding to the Postal Service. Democrats included billions for Postal Service in the HEROES Act coronavirus relief package passed by the House earlier this year. Trump, however, said earlier this month that he would not sign off on the funds if they were used to facilitate mail-in voting in the November election.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has also come under fire recently for changes he’s made to the postal system that critics say will slow down service and impede the November election.

Tags Donald Trump Louis DeJoy Steve Bannon United States Postal Inspection Service United States Postal Service We Build the Wall

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