Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former top strategist and campaign manager, was indicted Thursday on federal fraud charges. Officials arrested Bannon on board a $35 million yacht off the coast of Westbrook, Connecticut. He and three others are charged with embezzling funds from a $25 million fundraising campaign to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.
Schilling is not charged in the scheme. Prosecutors claim that Bannon accepted more than $1 million from the organization that raised more than $17 million via GoFundMe during its first week of fundraising in December 2018.
Prosecutors: Funds funneled for luxury spending
Brian Kolfage, a prominent Trump supporter, started the campaign with a vow to “not take a penny in salary or compensation” and to use all the money raised “in the execution of our mission and purpose,” according to the New York Times. Kolfage, Florida venture capitalist Andrew Badolato and a Colorado man named Timothy Shea face charges alongside Bannon.
Kolfage is accused of spending more than $350,000 in funds from the campaign on home renovations, boat payments, an SUV, a golf cart, jewelry and cosmetic surgery. The men funneled funds through a nonprofit group run by Bannon and a shell company run by Shea, according to prosecutors.
Schilling on board with high-profile conservatives
Schilling is a member of the campaign’s advisory board alongside Bannon and Kolfage. Other high-profile right-wing figures like former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and Blackwater founder Erik Prince also sit on the board.
Schilling promoted the campaign to build the “Trump Wall” on his Twitter page in 2018.
We The People Will Fund The Wall https://t.co/MLXZTeZ9cE 11.8 million now, up 800k in less than an hour this morning.— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) December 21, 2018
He announced that he was joining the campaign’s advisory board in January 2019.
“I was an early donor to Brian's Border Wall GoFundMe," Schilling said in 2019, per a news release. “People coming together to get things done when our politicians fail is a cherished American past time. As President Reagan said, if not us, then who. If not now, then when.”
Schilling’s legacy of controversy
Schilling, 53, was a six-time MLB All-Star pitcher and a prominent member of three World Series-winning teams. His “bloody sock” performance for Boston in Game 6 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees en route to a World Series title is the stuff of baseball legend.
Since retiring, Schilling has been involved in numerous controversies.
His failed video game venture 38 Studios cost Rhode Island taxpayers $112 million after it was unable to repay a loan. State police investigated the incident but declined to press fraud charges. The studio later reached a settlement with Rhode Island.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, he said that Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail.”
He briefly considered a run for Congress in 2019 that drew the support of Trump.
Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific! @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019
Schilling has not publicly commented since Thursday’s round of arrests.
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