It appears that Steve Bannon, a former White House strategist, recently sought a loan against a Connecticut property linked to one of his troubled nonprofits, documents reviewed by The Daily Beast show, even though the charity no longer owns the home.
The materials, addressed directly to Bannon at the $1.5 million stone estate in the posh town of Wilton, do not reveal the amount requested, nor what Bannon sought. However, they set the date for the loan application to be December 2, 2021, roughly three weeks after a grand jury indicted Bannon for refusing to testify before the House Committee to Inquiry into the Riots on January 6 and about two weeks after his initial appearance in federal court.
They also note that Bannon attempted to borrow dough from the Phoenix branch of KS Statebank, a Kansas-based lender, via a Delaware LLC bearing the house’s name.
Neither Bannon’s spokesperson nor his attorneys responded to repeated requests for comment, and neither were calls and emails to the bank and its employees. It’s unclear whether the money has arrived, because the bank indicated in the documents that it might want to get a valuation of the five-acre complex, with an indoor pool and guest house — and in fact Bannon doesn’t own or have any stake in the home.
Instead, public records and private communications revealed by The Daily Beast showed that the property was briefly owned by the Rule of Law Association, a Bannon nonprofit founded in 2018 with fugitive Chinese billionaire Joe Wenwei. Property records show that a separate LLC operated by two officers of that nonprofit organization, including its attorney Daniel Podhaski, purchased the home from controversial right-wing psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover in early August 2020. Efforts to reach out to Podhaskie and Satinover for comment on this story It proved unsuccessful.
A few weeks later, federal agents arrested Bannon aboard Guo’s yacht off the coast of Connecticut for allegedly embezzling her from a separate nonprofit organization, We’re Building the Wall. Eventually, Bannon would receive a pardon from defeated President Donald Trump, and in the meantime, the terms of his $5 million bail allowed him to continue traveling to the Nutmeg State.
But it is clear that the Rule of Law Association decided not to stick to the luxury platform. The Daily Beast obtained what appears to be an email that Podhaskie sent to the organization’s board of directors on October 15, 2020.
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“I am pleased to report that within two weeks of listing the Connecticut home for sale, we received a full cash offer of $1,500,000,” Podhaskie wrote in an email. The Rule of Law Association intends to move forward with this transaction. If anyone has any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to them.”
The sale took place on November 19, 2020, although Wilton land records show the final price was $1,437,500, about $40,000 less than what the group paid to purchase the home from Satinover just three months earlier. New buyers told The Daily Beast that they had not dealt with Bannon or any loan application, but declined to comment further.
Making the date included in the mortgage application even more bizarre, CNBC reported that Bannon left Community Base — which claims to promote democracy in mainland China — in August 2021. Since then, his co-founder, Guo Wengui, has been involved in cryptocurrency. The controversy saw his companies hand over half a billion dollars to the Securities and Exchange Commission and faced accusations from former aides and supporters.
For his part, Bannon faces fines of up to $200,000 and a year in prison for refusing to cooperate with the House investigation. He emphasized that he could not reveal his contacts with Trump prior to the attack on the Capitol last year because they enjoyed executive privilege – despite the fact that Bannon was expelled from the Trump White House in 2017.
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