Longtime Bannon Associate Miles Guo Hit With Racketeering Charges

@johnknefel
Longtime Bannon Associate Miles Guo Hit With Racketeering Charges

Miles Guo, left, with Steve Bannon

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Multiple organizations tied to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon were listed for the first time in a superseding indictment against his longtime associate Miles Guo, a Chinese businessman facing a litany of charges in the Southern District of New York.

The ties between Guo and Bannon have long been known, but the new court document provides additional clarity about Guo’s alleged conspiracy, which the indictment says defrauded victims of approximately $1 billion. It could also signal increased legal exposure for Bannon, who has been financially intertwined with Guo since at least 2018.

The updated indictment alleges that Guo — also known as Guo Wengui and Ho Wan Kwok — used social media company Gettr, media outlet G News, the supposed government-in-exile New Federal State of China in a conspiracy to defraud his victims and furnish his lavish lifestyle.

Bannon is linked with each of these organizations, none of which were listed as directly implicated entities in the original indictment.

Most significantly, Bannon has long been a champion of Gettr, a far-right competitor to X (formerly known as Twitter). The Washington Post reported that Bannon’s War Room podcast had received $50,000 from Gettr as late as December 2022.

“One of the things about Miles, in my time of knowing him — just the, you know, the music, the fashion, G News, GTV, association with Gettr, all these things you see popping off has been such successes really in such a short period of time,” Bannon said in a November 17, 2021, interview on Guo’s GTV.

That was just one of many instances where Bannon hyped Guo’s G News and its related media property GTV.

“G News and GTV, great article today, comes out that GTV, Miles Guo, Steve Bannon, saving western civilization,” Bannon said. “Hey, I don’t know if I’d go that far but let’s say this: I’m so proud of G News and GTV for stepping up.”

Their alliance extended beyond media ventures and into the realm of political organizing. In June 2020, Guo and Bannon jointly launched the New Federal State of China, billed as an initiative to counter the Chinese government. As Media Matters reported following Guo’s initial indictment, Bannon praised the New Federal State of China and other Guo properties in a joint panel appearance the following year.

“The New Federal State, the whistleblower movement, the Rule of Law Society and Foundation, Gettr, G Fashion, all this — what the world is seeing is a new China and a new Chinese,” Bannon said.

Following the announcement of the initial indictment, Media Matters reported that Bannon promoted Guo’s cryptocoin and exchange platform, which the SDNY alleges were central to the Chinese businessman’s scheme.

Bannon also served on the board of the nonprofit Rule of Law Society — founded by Guo — but left at some point in the summer of 2020, and agreed to serve as chairman of Guo’s Rule of Law Fund. Like the New Federal State of China, both initiatives were aimed at undermining the Chinese government.

In August 2020 Bannon was arrested on Guo’s superyacht by the U.S. Postal Service for alleged fraud connected to a scheme to build a wall at the U.S. southern border. The trial is set for May of this year in New York state court. (As one of former President Donald Trump’s last acts in office, he pardoned Bannon on related federal charges.)

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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