DOJ indicts and arrests Steve Bannon’s Chinese financier – is Bannon next?
On Wednesday the DOJ indicted and arrested exiled Chinese “businessman” Miles Guo (Guo Wengui) on charges of committing a billion dollars in fraud (not a million, a billion). This indictment is a long time coming. He conspired with everyone from Steve Bannon to Rudy Giuliani. It’s not clear how the DOJ intends to play this from here, but it’s a major development.
In 2020 the Feds flew out and arrested Bannon while he was aboard Guo’s yacht. That’s how intertwined these criminals are. Trump ended up pardoning Bannon on those specific charges. But Guo’s indictment opens the door to additional charges against Bannon.
In the two-plus years since Bannon was arrested to stop him from further conspiring with Guo, the DOJ hasn’t been sitting on its hands trying to work up the courage to arrest Guo, or any of the silly narratives you hear on Twitter. It’s been steadily building the kind of criminal case against Guo that can actually result in conviction at trial. Now that the DOJ believes it’s reached that point, it’s indicting and arresting Guo.
What we don’t know is which way the DOJ is looking to flip people. Will it pressure Guo into becoming a cooperating witness for nailing Bannon and others on additional charges? Will it pressure Bannon and others into cooperating against Guo? Will it try both tactics and see who caves first?
The key for now is whether Guo thinks he can beat these charges. With his fortune he’ll have great lawyers. But DOJ criminal indictments tend to be so overwhelming that even the best attorneys can rarely beat the charges.
If Guo does cut a cooperation deal or immunity deal, he could help the DOJ take down half of Trump world. That said, nothing in a criminal justice case happens overnight. Even if Guo flipped tomorrow, it would still take time to build criminal cases using his cooperation.
But this is a reminder that someone isn’t “off the hook” just because the DOJ has been criminally investigating someone for a year or two and no indictment has happened yet. The “if so and so hasn’t been indicted by now he never will be” narrative is just gibberish from clueless people. Just ask Miles Guo if he now thinks he was “off the hook” during the time that it took the DOJ to build its overwhelming criminal case against him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report