Bannon arrested at sea

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Former adviser to President Donald J. Trump, Steve Bannon, walks out of a Manhattan Federal Court in New York, NY on August 20, 2020. Bannon was brought in on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud in connection to his We Build the Wall fundraising campaign that was to help build a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Bannon was released on bail with a $5 millon dollar bond after pleading not guilty. Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA.

We’re a few days into the Republican National Convention, and there have already been a number of apparent Hatch Act violations. The Hatch Act isn’t a criminal law — does it actually prevent government employees from engaging in campaign activity while on the job, or is it really just a norm? And isn’t there something kind of weird about barring people who work in politics from doing things that are...political?

Steve Bannon was arrested on a boat last week — he and his associates from the “We Build The Wall” project are accused of wire fraud and money laundering. Why did postal inspectors arrest Bannon? What’s special about this scam that makes it a crime?

Then: the New York attorney general is investigating whether the Trump Organization misled banks and the government about the value of its assets. We just learned about this because of a legal filing, but the investigation has been going on for over a year. Surprise: the Trump Organization isn’t complying with subpoenas and Eric Trump is refusing to be interviewed. Can he take the Fifth? We know the Manhattan DA is pursuing a similar investigation — what’s the difference between their investigations?

Plus: Michael Cohen stars in an anti-Trump political ad, part of his new job with a PAC, and once again, a federal judge is really not impressed by Trump’s argument against complying with a subpoena for his financial records.



Sara Fay