we build the wall
Veteran Who Raised $25 Million to Build Trump's Border Wall Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges
Former President Donald Trump's quixotic campaign promise of a giant wall at the southern border hit a lot of metaphorical walls along the way, culminating in a paltry 80 miles of brand new wall over the course of his four years in office.
Despite promising that Mexico would pay for the wall, Trump permitted the longest shutdown of the United States government in history to leverage additional funding for it. His administration then reallocated more than $3 billion from the Defense Department to fund its partial construction.
Along the way, Trump acolytes like white nationalist and former advisor Steve Bannon and Iraq War veteran Brian Kolfage launched an effort to crowdfund the wall—We Build the Wall—generating tens of millions of dollars in donations from Trump's supporters.
The effort soon collapsed. Bannon was famously arrested for money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, though Trump pardoned him just before the former President left the White House.
Kolfage, who claimed he wouldn't earn a single penny for the efforts, he siphoned more than $350 thousand of the money to himself and the Southern District of New York (SDNY) delivered similar charges against him as the ones lobbed against Bannon. SDNY also charged Kolfage with lying on his 2019 taxes. According to Salvador Hernandez of Buzzfeed News, SDNY prosecutors announced in a letter that Kofalge would plead guilty to all three charges.
The news was met with schadenfreude from social media users.
Disgraceful In several ways. https://t.co/0hdanNwNnJ
— Reese Erick Forbes (@WiseLionMan) April 8, 2022
Frauds gonna fraud. Is anyone surprised? https://t.co/0JuYhD4PVG
— 🇺🇸 🇵🇷Bruja. (@LadyMcDeathAk) April 8, 2022
Lining their own pockets, who knew?🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/ubVd8W8DQQ
— Lynn Lee (@LynnLeeEspino) April 8, 2022
Always the very best people around Trump. https://t.co/vmrUQkc7m9
— David M (@capdmoser2000) April 8, 2022
In a normal world, this scandal would be a massive stain on Trump. https://t.co/lHvaMkRT5A
— Serenity Now! (@Cpo10za) April 8, 2022
Shock. Horror. Dismay.
Just another grifter https://t.co/m9bm457DDH
— m 🧜♀️⚾️🕉 (@mmrmaid) April 8, 2022
Others reminded the internet of Kolfage's association with high-profile Republicans who've since distanced themselves from him amid the scandal.
Here's a fun little flashback to Don Jr praising Brian Kolfage, who agreed this week to plead guilty to charges related to his private border wall fundraiser which he allegedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars from and then lied about on his taxes pic.twitter.com/9zW0U4BhUc
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) April 8, 2022
Oh cool. Another one of Madison Cawthorn’s idols has plead guilty to fraud.#GOPGriftershttps://t.co/vntXJoPAGKpic.twitter.com/4zGyHQ7zfJ
— Science Matters 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@trustscience92) April 8, 2022
Brian Kolfage, who launched multimillion-dollar We Build The Wall crowdfunding effort, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud & lying on his 2019 taxes, after prosecutors say he took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fund
He could face 20 yrs in prison https://t.co/XzSqvwQRQ8
— StandWithUkraine (@MaggieJordanACN) April 8, 2022
Kolfage is set to change his plea on April 21.