- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service stripped a nonprofit group with ties to former Trump strategist Steve Bannon of its tax-exempt status after years of failure to pay taxes.

August filings indicate the IRS had rendered the Citizens of American Republic defunct after Mr. Bannon left the White House in 2017. The group has been accused of appropriating funds from a charity to Mr. Bannon and other Trump allies.

Mr. Bannon blamed the group’s failure to file taxes for three years in a row on the federal legal challenges he faced.

“The group has been dormant since August 2020 after federal prosecutors’ unwarranted seizure. They requested, and our lawyers agreed, that all activity ceased since 21 August 2020, over two years ago,” a Bannon spokesperson told The Daily Beast.

Mr. Bannon is expected to be indicted on Thursday on state fraud charges connected to his part in a fundraising scheme to help build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, a key promise of the Trump administration.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been investigating Mr. Bannon‘s role since he received an eleventh-hour pardon by former President Donald Trump before he left the White House.

SEE ALSO: Report: Steve Bannon to be indicted, will surrender to N.Y. authorities Thursday

The state fraud charges are likely to mirror the federal case, in which he was pardoned.

Mr. Bannon, along with three others, were previously charged by federal prosecutors for falsely claiming they wouldn’t take compensation in the “We Build the Wall” effort, accusing them of defrauding people of $25 million worth of donations to erect the wall.

He was accused of pocketing $1 million for himself.

Mr. Bannon has also been a key figure in the congressional investigation into the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot.

Earlier this year, he was convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the House select committee looking into his alleged role in the riot.

The right-wing figure is expected to turn himself in on Thursday but called the “phony” charges politically motivated. 

SEE ALSO: Steve Bannon requests retrial in criminal contempt of Congress case

“They are coming after all of us, not only President Trump and myself,” Mr. Bannon said Tuesday. “I am never going to stop fighting. In fact, I have not yet begun to fight. They will have to kill me first.”

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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